The project has demonstrated, through fishery independent assessment (underwater visual assessment), that although emergent coral reef may suffer extensive structural damage as a result of tropical cyclones, in the short-term (three months post-TC Hamish, March 2009) the associated fish community structure and species abundances are not adversely affected.
The project has demonstrated perversive factors affect significant decreases in the catch rates of primary target species, common coral trout and red throat emperor in response to some ‘unique’ tropical cyclone events such as TC Hamish (March 2009) and TC Justin (March 1997). Depressed catch rates may lag for up to twelve months following cyclone influence. The response from industry has been one of relief; relief that their experiences of depressed catch rates and associated economic hardship have been formally quantified and documented.
See report at: FRDC 2008-103 Final report- Cyclone Hamish
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