Relative abundance of snapper in SNA 8

Trophia was contracted by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) to analyses catch an deffort data for snapper in SNA 8. The specific objective for this project was to characterise the SNA 8 fishery and update the CPUE analyses for trawl fisheries in each area of SNA 8 using data up to the end of 2007-08.

The snapper fishery is New Zealand’s most valuable inshore finfish fishery by value. SNA 8 is the second largest commercial snapper fishery. Snapper also support important fisheries for recreational fishers and Maori. The 2005 stock assessment indicated that current biomass (start of year 2004–05) was between 8% and 12% B0 and the biomass was predicted to slowly increase at the TACC level of 1500 t. However, from 1 October 2005 the TACC was reduced to 1300 t to ensure a faster rebuild of the stock. The stock assessments for snapper rely mainly on the absolute abundance estimates from tagging programmes. Absolute abundance of SNA 8 was last estimated in 2002 and the next mark-recapture study is scheduled for 2011. Standardized CPUE series, updated every three years, are used to provide crude indices of relative abundance in the periods between tagging programmes. The SNA 8 CPUE index was last updated to the end of the 2003/04 fishing year (SNA 2004-01).