The annual assessment of Commonwealth fish stocks from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has found that the majority of stocks assessed were both not overfished and not subject to overfishing.
The ABARES Fishery status reports 2023 provides an annual, independent assessment of the biological and economic status of Commonwealth managed fisheries.
ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said the report indicated that overall Commonwealth fisheries continue to be well-managed, although there were some causes for concern.
“Of the 102 stocks assessed, 67 were classified as not overfished and 75 were classified as not subject to overfishing,” Dr Greenville said.
“However, there were a number of status changes this year. The reports include 12 changes in stock status compared to last year.
“Overall, there are more stocks with uncertain status and a small increase in the number of stocks assessed as overfished or subject to overfishing.”
The report highlights several emerging pressures on sustainable fisheries management including monitoring and responding to the current and future impacts of climate change and a decline in the quality and quantity of data to undertake stock assessments.
“This shows us the importance of regularly monitoring fish stocks, so management can be adaptive when circumstances change, and the need to improve data collection,” Dr Greenville said.
“That said, the management systems for Commonwealth fisheries are well established. We’re in a good position to tackle these challenges and shore up long-term sustainability for our fish stocks.”
The ABARES Fishery status reports 2023 can be found here: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/research-topics/fisheries/fishery-status