The Temperate Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fishery (TDGDLF) is comprised of the Joint Authority Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Managed Fishery (JASDGDLF) and the West Coast Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline (Interim) Managed Fishery (WCDGDLF).

These fisheries operate in continental shelf waters along the south and lower west coasts and the majority of operators use demersal gillnets and power-hauled reels to target sharks, with scalefish also being a legitimate component of the catch.

The main shark species targeted in the TDGDLF are gummy shark (Mustelus antarcticus), dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus), whiskery shark (Furgaleus macki) and sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus).

On the south coast, operators primarily target gummy and dusky sharks, while dusky and sandbar sharks are targeted on the west coast. Whiskery sharks are an important component of both fisheries’ catch.

These four species have been selected as indicators for the status of the temperate shark ‘suite’ as they make up about 80 per cent of the fisheries’ shark catch.

As their stocks span multiple bioregional boundaries, dusky, sandbar and whiskery sharks are assessed and monitored as indicators of the State-wide inshore demersal suite of shark species.

Gummy sharks, however, have a more limited southern range and are an indicator species of the South Coast Bioregion inshore demersal shark species suite. The two fisheries are reported together here because extensive research has demonstrated that they share these key unit stocks.

A suite of shark management arrangements in target and non-target fisheries have been in effect since the 2006/07 season to ensure sustainable catches of target, byproduct and bycatch species, to assist in the recovery of historically over-exploited whiskery, dusky and sandbar shark stocks and to maintain acceptably low risks to endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species.

These arrangements include:

  • the State-wide commercial protection of all sharks and rays;
  • a general prohibition of metal trace wire and large hooks (except in the Northern Shark and Mackerel Fisheries), which had previously been used to target large whaler sharks;
  • a significant increase in penalties for illegally possessing sharks or rays; and
  • a closure during the main whiskery shark pupping season, of inshore waters to 200m depth throughout all of the WCDGDLF and the waters of the South Coast west of 118° E (in the JASDGDLF) to assist in the recovery of the over-exploited whiskery shark.

Key Species Fished

Dusky shark
Gummy Shark
Whiskery Shark
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