NSW DPI Research Angler Program’s record red

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THE NSW DPI - FIsheries' Research Angler Program (RAP) recently received a very significant snapper frame donation from the NSW South Coast.

In a collection of frames from the Illawarra area, one of the "reds" donated was a 68 centimetre fish that was aged at a staggering 40 years old. Not only is this fish the oldest aged for the RAP, but it is also the oldest snapper aged from NSW waters. Prior to this donation, the oldest snapper aged by DPI researchers was a 71 centimetre fish from Coffs Harbour that was estimated to be 38 years old. It is also equal to the oldest known snapper aged in Australia; a 40-year-old fish caught of Western Australia.

From the frames donated by keen anglers to this program, the five oldest snapper have all come from the Illawarra area, see the graph below. This slow growth rate in snapper from the South Coast has been demonstrated in many of the samples NSW DPI have collected in the program. Typically, snapper from northern NSW will have a faster growth rate and measure much longer for their age when compared to these southern fish.

NSW DPI says, exciting discoveries such as this show that fish frames donated to the RAP could provide interesting new data on fish species and better help manage them into the future.

For more information: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/fish-tagging/researchangler

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