Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck today welcomed the latest Fishery status reports by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), which show that Commonwealth fisheries management continues to deliver for the sustainability of our oceans.

“For the fifth year in a row, the reports show that no solely Australian government managed fish stock has been classified as subject to overfishing,” Minister Colbeck said.

“This is no accident—it’s the result of careful, science-based fisheries management and co-operation between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the commercial fishing industry.

“It means that consumers can be confident that their delicious Australian seafood is being sourced from well-managed and sustainable fisheries.

“The reports show that the southern bluefin tuna, a species of significant economic importance to Australia, is now classified as not subject to overfishing for the first time.

“And we’re seeing positive changes in other stocks managed jointly with regional fisheries management organisations. Both bigeye tuna and swordfish in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery are now classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing.

“It’s not all good news, but we’re moving in the right direction—since the Harvest Strategy Policy was introduced in 2007, a rising number of fish stocks have been classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing, and fewer stocks are now classified as uncertain. However, there are stocks in both solely and jointly managed fisheries that remain overfished.

“AFMA is continuing to work with stakeholders and international partners on rebuilding strategies to bring overfished stocks back to sustainable levels.

"Australia is internationally renowned for supplying safe, high-quality and environmentally sustainable seafood, and these reports are further proof of this.”

The reports also found that fisheries managed both jointly and solely by the Australian Government generated a gross value of production (GVP) of $403 million in 2016–17, representing 23 per cent of Australia’s total wild capture fisheries GVP of $1.75 billion.

To read the reports, visit agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.