Why fishing survey is underway on Fraser Island

A SURVEY is being carried out along the shores of Fraser Island this week as anglers fish for beach-caught species.

Two to three times a year, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries carries out the surveys to collect biological information on the fish species - in particular, tailor.

The surveys are generally carried out over five days.

Scientists measure about 1000 fish per survey, although in years when surveys coincide with good fishing conditions, that can exceed 2500 fish.

They also collect large numbers of fish frames to complement the length data.

A mobile field laboratory is set up on the island to allow processing of fish frames soon after they are collected.

The length and sex of the fish is recorded and ear bones from a sample of the frames are examined to estimate the age of the fish.

The data collected on Fraser Island is collated with data collected year-round by recreational fishers at other locations.

The information allows Fisheries Queensland to assess the sustainability of the tailor stock.

Tailor is currently classified as sustainably fished.

The majority of tailor caught are between 35cm and 50cm.

Scientists can often estimate the fish's age from its ear bone.

Tailor are fast growing and relatively short-lived predators.

The fish reach maturity between one to two years of age and can live up to 13 years.