This page contains a glossary of specific terms used within the Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics reports, acronyms and unit, and a fish name concordance. It also lists all references within the 2018 edition.
Aquaculture: commercial growing of marine or freshwater animals and aquatic plants. Often called ‘fish farming’.
Aquaculture value: assessed value received by aquaculturists on the basis of an ‘at farm gate’ equivalent for product marketed.
Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ): the area extending seaward of coastal waters (3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline) to the outer limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In the case of external territories, such as Christmas Island, the AFZ extends from the territorial sea baseline to the outer limit of the EEZ. The AFZ is defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991, which also specifies a number of ‘excepted waters’, notably in Antarctica and Torres Strait, that are excluded from the AFZ. For more information on the AFZ see Economic geography in Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics.
Beach price: a price that would be received by fishers or aquaculture farmers per unit of whole-weight fish at the point of landing or farm gate. It excludes any margins for freight, marketing and processing. For more information on Beach price see Measurements of production and trade.
Catch: in relation to fishing, means capture, take or harvest.
Coastal waters: the waters extending 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. The states and the Northern Territory have jurisdiction over the coastal waters adjacent to them. For more information on Coastal waters see Economic geography in Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics.
Continental shelf: either the area of relatively shallow water that fringes a continent from the shoreline to the top of the continental slope (the top of the continental slope is often defined by the 200-metre isobath), or a defined maritime zone that comprises the continental shelf where it extends beyond the limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone to the limit of the continental margin. The defined maritime zone is also sometimes referred to as the ‘extended continental shelf’, and its limit is determined by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
Danish-seining: a trawling method used by relatively small vessels in shallow waters (up to about 200 metres). Lengths of weighted ropes of up to 2,800 metres are laid out on the sea floor in a diamond pattern, with the vessel at one end of the diamond and the net at the other. As the vessel moves forward, bringing in the net, the diamond becomes elongated, allowing the fish to be herded into the path of the net (c.f. Purse seining).
Demersal: found on or near the benthic habitat (c.f. Pelagic).
Demersal trawling: trawling with gear designed to work on or near the seabed. Such gear is used to take demersal species of Finfish and Prawns.
Domestic fishery: fishery within the Australian Fishing Zone operated by Australian-flagged vessels.
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): the area that extends from the limit of the territorial sea, which is 12 nautical miles offshore from the territorial sea baseline, to a maximum of 200 nautical miles, measured from the territorial sea baseline. The EEZ is less than 200 nautical miles in extent where it coincides with the EEZ of another country. In this case, the boundaries between the two countries are defined by treaty. Within its EEZ, Australia has sovereign rights and responsibilities over the water column and the seabed, including the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. For more information on EEZ see Economic geography in Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics.
Export quantity: data supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are on the basis of the net product weight (excluding packaging) exported. Exports are identified by the ABS according to source state or territory, not state or territory in which the product was grown or processed.
Export value: data supplied by the ABS and valued on a Free on board (fob) basis at the Australian port of export. The costs of freight, insurance and other distributive services beyond the Australian customs border are not included.
Farmgate value: see Beach price.
Fisheries: refers to Commonwealth, state and territory waters in which marine and freshwater animals are commercially caught or farmed, unless otherwise specified.
Fisheries production: refers to commercial production of wild-caught and aquaculture marine or freshwater animals from Commonwealth, state and territory waters and aquaculture farms, unless otherwise specified.
The Farmgate value of a cultivated product in aquaculture is the net value of the product when it leaves the farm, after marketing costs have been subtracted.
Fishing season: the period during which a fishery can be accessed by fishers. Sometimes referred to as a fishing year.
Free on board (fob): a seller pays for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment, plus loading costs. The buyer pays the cost of marine freight transport, insurance, unloading, and transportation from the arrival port to the final destination.
Gross value of production (GVP): historically, the value placed on recorded production at the wholesale prices realised in the marketplace. The point of measurement can vary between commodities. Generally the marketplace is the metropolitan market in each state and territory. However, where commodities are consumed locally or where they become raw material for a secondary industry, these points are presumed to be the marketplace. Prices used in these calculations exclude GST. For more on GVP see Economic concepts in Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics.
Grow-out cage: pontoons supporting cages in which wild-caught fish are fattened until they reach marketable size.
Import quantity: data supplied by the ABS on the basis of the net product weight (excluding packaging) imported import value data supplied by the ABS on the basis of product cost.
Import value: data provided by the ABS are valued on a customs value for duty basis that is identical to a Free on board (fob) basis. The customs value for duty is the price actually paid at the port of origin, including inland freight and insurance costs incurred in delivering the product(s) to the port of origin; the freight and insurance costs of delivering the product(s) to the Australian port of destination are excluded.
Individual transferable quota (ITQ): management tool by which portions of the total allowable catch quota are allocated to fishers (individuals or companies). The fishers have long-term rights over the quota but can trade quota with others. See also Quota.
Jig: vertical line with lures, which is moved up and down, or jigged, by hand or machine.
Line fishing: fishing methods that use fishing lines, including handlines, hand reels, powered reels, pole and line, droplines, longlines, trotlines and troll lines.
Longline: fishing gear in which short lines (branch lines, snoods or droppers) carrying hooks are attached to a longer mainline at regular intervals. Pelagic longlines are suspended horizontally at a predetermined depth with the help of surface floats. The mainlines can be 100 kilometres long and have several thousand hooks. Droppers on demersal longlines (set at the seabed with weights) are usually more closely spaced.
Minor line: term adopted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to refer to several line-fishing methods, including trolling, and fishing using a rod and reel, handline, or pole and line.
Nautical mile (nm): a unit of distance derived from the angular measurement of 1 minute of arc of latitude but standardised by international agreement as 1,852 metres.
Net economic returns (NER): a fishery’s NER over a particular period are equal to fishing revenue less fishing costs. Fishing costs include the usual accounting costs of fuel, labour, and repairs and maintenance, as well as various economic costs such as the opportunity cost of owner labour and capital (c.f. Opportunity cost). The concept of NER is very closely related to economic efficiency—a necessary condition for NER to be maximised.
Otter trawl: Demersal trawl operated by a single vessel in which the net is held open horizontally by angle-towed otter boards (large rectangular ‘boards’ of timber or steel) and vertically by a combination of floats on the headrope and weights on the ground line. Attached between the head and ground ropes and the towing warps, the otter boards are spread apart by the hydrodynamic forces acting on them when the net is towed.
Pair trawling: trawling by two vessels steaming in parallel with the net towed between them. Very large nets can be held open and towed in this way. The net may be hauled aboard the two vessels alternately for processing of the catch.
Pelagic: inhabiting surface waters rather than the sea floor. Usually applied to free-swimming species such as Tunas and Sharks (c.f. Demersal).
Purse seining: harvesting of surface-schooling pelagic fish by surrounding the school with a net. A line that passes through rings on the bottom of the net can be tightened to close the net so that the fish cannot escape (c.f. Danish-seining).
Quota: amount of catch allocated to a fishery (total allowable catch), or to an individual fisher or company (individual transferable quota).
Quota species: species for which catch quotas have been allocated.
Re-exports: (included in merchandise exports statistics) are goods originally imported, which are exported in either the same condition in which they were imported or after undergoing repair or minor alterations which leave them essentially unchanged. This is not considered to be Australian production or manufacture. Minor operations include blending, packaging, bottling, cleaning and sorting.
Re-imports: (included in merchandise imports statistics) are goods originally exported, which are subsequently imported in either the same condition in which they were exported or after undergoing repair or minor operations which leave them essentially unchanged. Minor operations include blending, packaging, bottling, cleaning and sorting.
Real: ‘real 2017–18 dollars’ or ‘real terms’ refers to conversion of nominal dollar values to take account of inflation; comparison from year to year is expressed in nominal terms unless stated otherwise.
Rounding small discrepancies in totals are generally caused by the rounding components.
Real prices; real terms: Real prices are historical prices that have been adjusted to reflect changes in the purchasing power of money (most commonly measured by the consumer price index). Such prices may also be expressed as being in real terms. Commonly, a year is indicated alongside a real price to show the year’s prices to which historical prices have been adjusted. Prices quoted in real terms allow meaningful comparison over time because any fluctuations exclude the effect of inflation.
Seines: seine nets are usually long, flat nets like a fence that are used to encircle a school of fish, with the vessel driving around the fish in a circle. Purse-seine and Danish-seine nets are used in a range of fisheries.
Species group: group of similar species that are often difficult to differentiate without detailed examination.
Territorial sea baseline: the baseline from which all the zones (for example, Exclusive Economic Zone) of Australia’s maritime jurisdiction are measured. The baseline is defined as the level of lowest astronomical tide along the coast. Straight baselines may be drawn along deeply indented coastlines or to encompass islands fringing the coast. The baseline may also be drawn straight across the entrances to bays and estuaries, rather than following the coast inshore.
Trap fishing: fishing by means of traps, often designed to catch a particular species (for example, Rock Lobster pots).
Trawl fishing: fishing method in which a large, bag-like net is drawn along behind a vessel to target either demersal or pelagic fish species. There are many variations.
Trolling: fishing method in which lines with baits or lures are dragged by a vessel at 2–10 knots. Used widely to catch fish such as Spanish Mackerel, Yellowtail Kingfish and several Tunas species.
Acronyms and units
|ABARES||Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences|
|ABS||Australian Bureau of Statistics|
|ACT||Australian Capital Territory|
|AFMA||Australian Fisheries Management Authority|
|AFZ||Australian Fishing Zone|
|ANZSIC||Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification|
|ChAFTA||China Australia Free Trade Agreement|
|CPI||consumer price index|
|DA||Department of Agriculture (now Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)|
|DAC||Darwin Aquaculture Centre|
|DAF||Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland)|
|DAFF||Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (current federal department name as at March 2023)|
|DAWE||Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (now the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry AND the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water)|
|DAWR||Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (now Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestrye)|
|DCCEEW||Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water|
|DPI||Department of Primary Industries (New South Wales)|
|DPIF||Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (Northern Territory)|
|DPIPWE||Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania)|
|DPIRD||Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Western Australia)|
|EEZ||Exclusive Economic Zone|
|ENAC||The Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation|
|FAO||Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations|
|fob||free on board|
|FRDC||Fisheries Research and Development Corporation|
|FTE||full time equivalent|
|GDP||gross domestic product|
|GVA||gross value added|
|GVP||gross value of production|
|NRIFS||National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey|
|NSW||New South Wales|
|NER||net economic returns|
|nfd||not further defined|
|PIRSA||Primary Industries and Regions South Australia|
|SA2||Statistical Areas Level 2|
|SARDI||South Australian Research and Development Institute|
|SITC||Standard International Trade Classification|
|TAC||total allowable catch|
|UNESCO||United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization|
|VFA||Victorian Fisheries Authority|
|t||tonne (1,000 kilograms)|
|kt||kilotonne (1,000 tonnes)|
Fish name concordance
Previously used name
Name used in this edition
|Aquarium fish||Aquarium Species|
|Australian salmon||Australian Salmon|
|Balmain bug||Balmain Bugs|
|Banana prawn||Banana Prawns|
|Greasyback prawn||Greasyback Prawns|
|Coral trout||Coral Trouts|
|Endeavour prawn||Endeavour Prawns|
|Jack mackerel||Jack Mackerels|
|King prawn||King Prawns|
|Mud crab||Mud Crabs|
|Murray cod||Murray Cods|
|Ornamental fish||Ornamental Species|
|Pearl oyster||Pearl Oysters|
|Reef fish||Reef Species|
|Saucer scallops||Saucer Scallops|
|School prawn||School Prawns|
|School whiting||School Whitings|
|Sea cucumber||Sea Cucumber|
|Shark||Sharks and Rays|
|Silver trevally||Silver Trevally|
|Southern rock cod||Southern Rock Cods|
|Rock lobster||Rock Lobsters|
|Tiger prawn||Tiger Prawns|
|Tropical snapper||Tropical Snappers|
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