Growth patterns of three bivalve species targeted by the Ocean Cockle Fishery, southern New South Wales: Eucrassatella kingicola (Lamarck, 1805); Glycymeris grayana (Dunker, 1857); and Callista (Notocallista) kingii (Gray, 1827)
Beaver, PE, Bucher, DJ & Joannes-Boyau, R 2017, 'Growth patterns of three bivalve species targeted by the Ocean Cockle Fishery, southern New South Wales: Eucrassatella kingicola (Lamarck, 1805); Glycymeris grayana (Dunker, 1857); and Callista (Notocallista) kingii (Gray, 1827)', Mulluscan Research, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 104-112.
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The Ocean Cockle Fishery is a small fishery in southern New South Wales targeting three bivalve species: Eucrassatella kingicola; Glycymeris grayana; and Callista (Notocallista) kingii. The fishery currently consists of a single licensed fisher harvesting a defined patch of seabed but has been identified as potentially able to support expansion. All target species have unknown population dynamics and life histories, and the degree to which expansion can be supported is therefore also unknown. We used internal growth marks in cross sections of shell to determine ages from the commercial catch. The assumption that the alternating bands represent seasonal variations in growth rate was validated by laser ablation induction-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS), a small tag-recapture program and preliminary marginal increment analysis. Mean length-at-age was modelled using the von Bertalanffy growth equation. Callista kingii (L∞ = 43.8, K = 0.43) grew substantially faster to a smaller maximum size than E. kingicola (L∞ = 70.0, K = 0.18) and G. grayana (L∞ = 54.3, K = 0.20). These growth characteristics may explain anecdotal observations that C. kingii has increased in relative abundance in recent catches and is relatively rare in unfished areas while E. kingicola in particular has declined in mean size and abundance.