Researching snapper stocks

Five hundred golden snapper fingerlings have been released into the Darwin Waterfront Lagoon as part of a research project to find out more about the species.

The research, which also includes releasing 4500 golden snapper fingerlings at other strategic spots in the Darwin Harbour, is part of the $50 million investment in recreational fishing.

Golden snapper are vulnerable to the effects of barotrauma, which has led to the species being classified as overfished in Darwin. These fingerlings will be monitored by NT Fisheries to help researchers find out more about the species, and the growth and survival rates of hatchery produced fish released into the wild.

The 5000 fingerlings were bred and tagged at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre. Those released at Darwin Waterfront will be caught by NT Fisheries researchers annually, so they can check their health and growth, and how they have adapted to their new environment. These fish are for research purposes only and not for catching by members of the public. Recreational fishing is strictly prohibited at the Darwin Waterfront Lagoon.

The remainder of the fish will be released at artificial reefs and nursery habitats around the harbour. This is to help determine whether golden snapper can be successfully produced and released onto artificial reefs, to enhance the recreational fishing experience.

To find out what to do when you catch a tagged fish, visit www.nt.gov.au/marine/recreational-fishing

Snapper fingerlings released at Darwin Waterfront April 2018

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