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Issues Paper: Population status of and threats to four ... Paper: Population status of and threats to four handfish species listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and

Feb 19, 2018

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  • Issues Paper:

    Population status of and threats to four handfish species listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and

    Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

  • The recovery plan linked to this paper is obtainable from: http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/4-handfish/index.html or: Community Information Unit Department of the Environment and Heritage GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Ph: 1800 803 772 The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Commonwealth Government or the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the contents of this publication. Commonwealth of Australia 2004 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth, available from the Department of the Environment and Heritage. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to: Assistant Secretary Marine Environment Branch Department of the Environment and Heritage GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 ISBN: 0642551324

  • Contents Executive Summary ............................................................................................................. i 1. Introduction................................................................................................................ 1

    1.1 Purpose.......................................................................................................................... 1

    1.2 Scope and limitations.................................................................................................... 2

    1.3 General biology, distribution and abundance of handfishes .............................................. 2

    2. Species Profiles............................................................................................................... 4 2.1 Spotted handfish................................................................................................................. 4

    2.1.1 Taxonomy .................................................................................................................. 4 2.1.2 Description................................................................................................................. 4 2.1.3 Distribution................................................................................................................ 4 2.1.4 Life history characteristics........................................................................................ 6

    Life span........................................................................................................................ 6 Diet................................................................................................................................ 6 Reproduction................................................................................................................. 6

    2.1.5 Population ................................................................................................................. 7 Size ................................................................................................................................ 7 Trends ........................................................................................................................... 7

    2.1.6 Important habitat of the spotted handfish................................................................ 8 2.1.7 Threats ....................................................................................................................... 8 2.1.8 Current efforts to manage threats ............................................................................ 9

    Collection...................................................................................................................... 9 Captive breeding and release ....................................................................................... 9 Artificial spawning substrate ........................................................................................ 9 Habitat rehabilitation and population surveys ........................................................... 10 Fishing restrictions ..................................................................................................... 10 Storm water management ........................................................................................... 10 Reducing heavy metal contamination ......................................................................... 10

    2.1.9 Issues for the recovery of the species ..................................................................... 10

    2.2 Red handfish .................................................................................................................... 12 2.2.1 Taxonomy ................................................................................................................ 12 2.2.2 Description............................................................................................................... 12 2.2.3 Distribution.............................................................................................................. 12 2.2.4 Life history characteristics...................................................................................... 13

    Life span...................................................................................................................... 13 Diet.............................................................................................................................. 13 Reproduction............................................................................................................... 13

    2.2.5 Population ............................................................................................................... 13 Size .............................................................................................................................. 13 Trends ......................................................................................................................... 13

    2.2.6 Important habitat of red handfish .......................................................................... 14 2.2.7 Threats ..................................................................................................................... 14 2.2.8 Current efforts to manage threats .......................................................................... 14

  • Captive breeding......................................................................................................... 14 Collection.................................................................................................................... 14

    2.2.9 Issues for the recovery of the species ..................................................................... 14 2.3 Waterfall Bay handfish .................................................................................................... 16

    2.3.1 Taxonomy ................................................................................................................ 16 Taxonomic issues ........................................................................................................ 16

    2.3.2 Description............................................................................................................... 16 2.3.3 Distribution.............................................................................................................. 16 2.3.4 Life history characteristics...................................................................................... 16 2.3.5 Population ............................................................................................................... 16 2.3.6 Important habitat of Waterfall Bay handfish ........................................................ 16 2.3.7 Threats ..................................................................................................................... 16 2.3.8 Current efforts to manage threats .......................................................................... 16 2.3.9 Issues for the recovery of the species .................................................................... 17

    2.4 Ziebells handfish............................................................................................................. 18 2.4.1 Taxonomy ................................................................................................................ 18

    Taxonomic issues ........................................................................................................ 18 2.4.2 Description............................................................................................................... 18 2.4.3 Distribution.............................................................................................................. 18 2.4.4 Life history characteristics...................................................................................... 19

    Life span...................................................................................................................... 19 Diet.............................................................................................................................. 19 Reproduction......................................................