Fishery report confirms Commonwealth fisheries not at overfishing risk

A new report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has found that fish stocks in Australian Government solely managed fisheries are not subject to overfishing.

The ABARES Fishery status reports provide an annual, independent assessment of the performance of these fisheries.

ABARES Acting Executive Director, Dr Jared Greenville, said the Fishery status reports 2021 indicated Commonwealth fisheries continue to be well-managed, and subject to a range of management and monitoring measures to ensure their sustainability.

“The major change this year is that southern bluefin tuna is now considered not overfished as the biomass of the stock has increased. This change is due to the implementation of global management arrangements that have allowed the stock to rebuild,” Dr Greenville added.

While the news overall is positive, a number of stocks in domestic fisheries remain classified as overfished and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority continues to work with stakeholders on strategies for rebuilding these stocks.

The status reports also show increasing uncertainty for some stocks. Six other stocks in the Coral Sea Fishery and the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery changed status from not subject to overfishing and/or not overfished to uncertain after reconsideration of available information.

The reports also look at the economic performance of fisheries managed by the Australian Government. These fisheries generated $438 million in gross value of production (GVP) in 2019–20, representing 28% of the $1.58 billion GVP of Australia’s total wild-caught fisheries.

Download a copy of the report at ABARES Publications.