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Australian fisheries given the 'green' tick

The first national snapshot of Australian fisheries has shown that most of Australia’s fish stocks are healthy and well managed.

Released in December last year, the ‘Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks 2012’, combines the assessments of major commonwealth and state-managed fisheries into one document.

Marine Innovation Southern Australia (MISA) partner, SARDI, has played a major role in the collaboration between state and territory government research agencies to produce reports, which assessed 150 stocks across 49 species representing over 80 percent of the value and 70 percent of the volume of Australian wild catch fisheries.

Bringing assessments together under one reporting framework has provided consistency across jurisdictions, as well as providing a clear national picture of our fisheries, demonstrating that the majority are sustainable. Importantly it has also identified fisheries that need a greater focus.

The use of biological boundaries where possible in the report, presents a more comprehensive understanding of individual fisheries, allowing assessments to cross jurisdictional boundaries. 

The stock status classifications and colour coding used provide fishers, managers, retailers, consumers and the general public alike with a clear understanding of the status of key Australian fisheries.

The national report includes information on the varied fishing techniques used in Australian waters, providing updated and clearly illustrated diagrams and descriptions covering beach seine, dropline, electrofishing, bottom set longline and radio echo sounding sonar, among others (examples available on P. 15, FRDC FISH Magazine, March 2013).   

South Australia has adopted the same framework and stock status classifications for state specific assessments, maintaining consistency with the national approach. The detailed South Australian report will be publicly available mid 2013. 

The ‘Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks 2012’ report is available at www.fish.gov.au.

The reports were initiated by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). They have been produced in collaboration with government fisheries research agencies in all Australian jurisdictions and the CSIRO.

Relevant articles

Fish stocks report signal start of new era, P. 12 FRDC FISH Magazine, March 2013

Australia's fish stocks rebound in past five years, News Mail, 18 January 2013

The good news on sustainable fish and seafood in Australia, Inside Cuisine, 18 January 2013

Australia's fish catch mostly sustainable, The Australian, 11 December 2012