Study confirms that world fish stocks healthy and abundant

Global fish stocks are healthy and abundant according to a new study into global fisheries management.

The international study, published in the January edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that reported fisheries catches are in good shape based on data that was compiled and analysed from fisheries around the world.
The report findings refute the common narrative that fish stocks are declining around the world and that fisheries management is failing, and shows that stocks are increasing in many places as a result of effective fisheries management.
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) Acting CEO Veronica Papacosta said the study confirms that Australia’s seafood industry is responsibly managed and produces some of the best seafood in the world.

“As fishers, our priority is the ocean. It’s our livelihood, and the future livelihood of generations to come,” she said.

Australia’s seafood industry is subject to some of the most intensive fisheries management and reporting protocols in the world, with every boat obligated to submit comprehensive catch data. As an industry, accountability is incredibly important. Every Australian boat, catch and pot has to be logged and submitted to the relevant authority.

“We have wonderful fisheries management structures here in Australia and our Fisheries Managers let our fishers know what they can catch, where they can catch it, when and how they can catch it, and how many they’re allowed to catch each year. And most importantly, it’s working.”

For the sixth consecutive year (2019) Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been given the tick of sustainability.

WA Fishing Industry Council chief executive, Alex Ogg said the findings are good news for the industry which is committed to managing healthy oceans and sustainable fisheries.

“Commercial fishers, more than most people, understand the need for sustainable operations and are committed to longevity and healthy oceans.

“Fishers see first-hand the commercial hardships that result from poor management. They know from experience that their catch is always better when the oceans are healthy and so they have a vested interest in supporting the environment.

“A healthy commercial fishing industry is dependent on healthy oceans – and in Western Australia we have tangible evidence confirming the benefits of the successful balance of health and harvest

“Our good work today will ensure our stakeholders and the community can be fully confident that there will be healthy oceans and plenty of fish for the future,” Alex added.

The research project built on a decade-long international collaboration to assemble estimates of the status of fish stocks around the world.

The research team’s database now includes information on nearly half of the world’s fish catch, about 880 fish stocks, up from about 20 per cent represented in the last compilation in 2009.

“Australians can be confident that Australian seafood comes from well-managed, sustainable fisheries, which ensures that our fish stocks will be around for generations to come,” Ms Papacosta said.

download a copy of the report here