Australia's commercial fishing and aquaculture industry is worth around $3.6 billion per year (ABARES 2023) and employs about 17,000 people (ABARES 2019). Each year, Commonwealth managed fisheries generate over $370 million in value alone, which represents about 27% of the total value of all seafood produced by wild caught fisheries in Australia(ABARES 2022).
Australia has the world’s third largest fishing zone (8,148,250 square kilometres). Our Exclusive Economic Zone, the area of the sea for which we have economic rights and responsibilities, contains some 3700 known species of fish, over 2800 species of mollusc and over 2300 species of crustaceans. However, only a small proportion of these are commercially fished.
Despite the vastness of Australia’s waters, they are relatively nutrient poor. As a result, the waters around Australian tend to have low productivity.
Up to date information on the biological and economic status of fish stocks managed by the Australian Government can be found from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.