More than 90 per cent of commercial black bream landings in Western Australia occur in the south coast region, where black bream is one of four main species targeted.
The remainder of the black bream commercial catch occurs in the west coast region.
From 2000 to 2010, the south coast catch ranged from 30 to 65 tonnes per year. Landings were mainly from: Beaufort Inlet (32 per cent), Stokes Inlet (31 per cent), Wilson Inlet (16 per cent) and Oyster Harbour (11 per cent).
The 2010 total - 65 tonnes – was the highest recorded since 1993.
Black bream commercial catch 2010
|South Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery
||200-500 tonnes (includes all finfish species)
||223 tonnes, including 65.4 tonnes of black bream
|West Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery
in Swan-Canning Estuary (other estuaries not assessed
Landings of black bream are highly variable from year to year. Sometimes higher catches coincide with higher rainfall. This could indicate an increase in stock due to strong recruitment (addition to the stock through migration, reproduction or growth to legal size).
Equally, it could be because black bream are easier to catch when floodwaters flush fish in the tributaries downstream into commercial fishing areas.
In the west coast region, historically, commercial landings of black bream have been relatively low compared to landings of other estuarine species.
Landings in this region from 2001 to 2010 were mainly from the Swan-Canning Estuary (61 per cent) and Hardy Inlet (37 per cent). However, commercial targeting of black bream in the Swan-Canning Estuary has been negligible since 2007, so the Hardy Inlet is now the only commercial bream fishery in the region.