|Importance||minor commercial||Ref.||Hall, D.N., D.J. Harrington and P.S. Fairbrother, 1990|
|Aquaculture||commercial||Ref.||Arthington, A.H. and F. McKenzie, 1997|
|Regulations||restricted||Ref.||Kailola, P.J., M.J. Williams, P.C. Stewart, R.E. Reichelt, A. McNee and C. Grieve, 1993|
|Abundance||common (usually seen)||Ref.||Kailola, P.J., M.J. Williams, P.C. Stewart, R.E. Reichelt, A. McNee and C. Grieve, 1993|
Known from Cape York, Qld. South to the vicinity of Melbourne, Victoria and to the rivers of eastern and northeastern Tasmania and Lord Howe Is. (Ref. 7300). Longfin eels are most abundant in Queensland and New South Wales (Ref. 26508). Longfin eels in Australian waters probably consist of a single stock.
Commercial fishery: The main Australian freshwater eel fishery is located in Victoria where eels have been caught commercially since 1914 (Ref. 26507). Longfin eels are the main species caught in the New South Wales and Queensland eel fisheries. The New South Wales annual catch has averaged just over 100 t during the 3 years up to June 1990, with 60% of the eels being caught from the Clarence River, Macleay River and the Myall lakes. Traps, including weir-type traps, are used to catch eels in tributaries, flood drains and swamps but are exluded from main river courses in New South Wales. In Queensland, the recorded annual catch is approximately 35 t.
Most of the Australian eel catch is destined for export markets, with 290 t exported in 1988-1989. Longfin eels are exported live or chilled to Hong Kong and Taiwan, or frozen for the French market. A small proportion is smoked and sold on the domestic market.
Aquaculture: Longfin eels are not cultured on a commercial basis but a number of pilot projects were under way during the period leading to 1993.
Recreational fishery: Freshwater eels are commonly caught by anglers when line fishing for other species in estuaries or freshwaters (Ref. 26509). They can be targeted by using introduced garden snails (Helicidae) as bait (Ref. 26510). The Australian Anglers Association record for freshwater eel is a longfin eel of 8900 g caught in northern New South Wales.
Resource status: The longfin eel catch in Queensland is probably below sustainable levels but the expansion of that fishery is dependent on regulations aimed at protecting other valuable commercial and recreational fish species. There is no information on the status of the New South Wales eel resources. Known from Mulgrave and South Johnstone rivers, Wet Tropics, Northern Queensland (Ref. 40054); Burdekin River (Ref. 40171).
Also Ref. 1739, 11115, 48776, 44894, 75154.
|States/Provinces||New South Wales (native), Queensland (native), Tasmania (native), Victoria (native)|