Fishery status reports released

30 September 2016

The status of wild fish stocks that underpin Commonwealth fisheries has remained generally positive, according to a new report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Acting ABARES Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said the Fishery status reports 2016 showed that of the 93 fish stocks reviewed, across the 22 Commonwealth fisheries, 66 stocks (or 71 per cent) were both not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

Mr Gooday noted that for the third consecutive year there were no stocks classified as subject to overfishing in any fisheries managed solely by the Australian government. This is an important measure of management performance, in terms of ensuring the levels of harvest are sustainable.

“The reports also reflect a change in status of the pink ling and blue-eye trevalla stocks, which have had an uncertain fishing mortality status for a number of years, but are now classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing. The western redbait stock in the Small Pelagic Fishery is also now classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

“However, there are a number of stocks managed solely by the Australian government that remain classified as overfished and where there is uncertainty about whether the current level of fishing mortality will allow the stocks to rebuild. All overfished stocks are subject to rebuilding strategies and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority continues to work with stakeholders to achieve the objectives of these strategies.

“There is also one stock that is internationally managed and where the fish stocks are fished by several nations—bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean—that is both subject to overfishing and overfished. Yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean is also subject to overfishing.

“The reports consider the economic performance of Commonwealth fisheries. These fisheries generated $348.0 million in gross value of production (GVP) in 2014–15, which is 22 per cent of Australia’s total wild capture fisheries GVP of $1.6 billion.

This report forms part of a suite of ABARES publications that provide a comprehensive and multidimensional account of the trends and outlook for Australian fisheries.

For a copy of the report visit ABARES Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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