The Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy and associated guidelines provide a framework to maintain key commercial stocks at ecologically sustainable levels and maximise net economic returns through fisheries management and applying a precautionary approach.

AFMA and ABARES are reviewing and testing harvest strategies to assess their effectiveness at meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy over 2009 to 2012.

This work will include verifying target and limit reference points and developing target and limit reference points for stocks that do not currently have them, where possible. This work is expected to be completed by July 2012.

The effectiveness of AFMA’s harvest strategies in meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy

Key Performance Indicators 2010–11 Forecast 2010–11 Actual
Total number of stocks assessed 32 32
For economically significant stocks1
Maximise the number of key commercial stocks with harvest strategy targets based on maximum economic yield or the best available proxy2 18 18
Improve the number of stocks assessed as being on target 11 11
For those stocks that are assessed as not on target, improve the number that are heading towards their target reference point 7 7

1. The top 32 fish stocks contributing to the gross value of production of Commonwealth fisheries

2. Where higher and lower value species are caught together, different targets for the lower value species may maximise net economic returns over all

In addition to AFMA’s success in meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy, the following indicators:

Key Performance Indicators 2010–11 Forecast 2010–11 Actual Comment
Minimise the number of fish stocks subject to overfishing1 0 7 Seven stocks have been classified by ABARES as both overfished and subject to overfishing

This has increased from three stocks in 2008
Minimise the number of species assessed as remaining at high risk after mitigation2 133 73 The groups at high risk from fishing are: sharks/rays 19; invertebrates 10; marine reptiles  1; bony Fish  6; marine birds  4; marine mammals 33 (28 whales/dolphins and 5 seals/sea lions)
Maximise the disposal of apprehended foreign fishing vessels and suspected illegal entry vessels 100 percent 100 percent One hundred percent of vessels were destroyed in accordance with quarantine protocols

1. In AFMA-managed fisheries, not including jointly and internationally managed fisheries

2. Ecological risk assessments for 30 Commonwealth-managed fisheries and sub-fisheries have been completed. The number of species identified at high risk has decreased from that reported in 2009–10 due to the completion of higher level assessments and the application of residual risk guidelines. Further assessments are scheduled during the reporting period which may identify additional high risk species