Cephalopod diversity in commercial fisheries landings of New South Wales, Australia
The development of commercial cephalopod fisheries is a relatively recent phenomenon in Australia. Multiple commercial fisheries land cephalopods in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, yet few useful data exist for the sustainable management of these resources. This paper presents results of the first study to quantitatively document cephalopod diversity in commercial fisheries landings of NSW. A total of 21 cephalopod taxa were observed in randomly selected market samples from the three major regions of landings. Few species comprised the majority of landings in each market category, but several species constituted the remaining proportions. Sepia rozella and S. hedleyi comprised the largest proportion by numbers and weight in cuttlefish samples. Octopus australis and O. tetricus were most abundant in octopus samples, while Sepioteuthis australis, Nototodarus gouldi, and Uroteuthis (Photololigo) sp. comprised the largest proportion of squid samples. The proportion each species contributes to commercial cephalopod landings reported at the Sydney Fish Market was estimated. Cephalopod diversity in the present study was generally consistent with that observed in previous years during fishery independent surveys of prawn trawl grounds. Quantifying cephalopod diversity in New South Wales commercial fisheries provides the necessary first step toward the sustainable management of these valuable resources.