Key fish stocks
The majority of Queensland’s key fish stocks are considered sustainable.
Queensland’s fisheries resources can be legally harvested by commercial, recreational and indigenous fishers. There is growing community interest in the sustainability of Queensland’s fishing activities, including the status of the state’s fish stocks.
Queensland assesses the status of about 80 stocks every 2 years. These assessments combine catch, effort and biological data to assign a status to each stock using nationally accepted protocols described in the Status of Australian Fish Stocks report.
In 2016, 65 of Queensland’s key fish stocks were assessed. Of these, 41 were classified as sustainable and 16 were undefined but not considered problematic. Species with sustainability concern included:
- mangrove jack (Gulf of Carpentaria)
- pearl perch,
- king threadfin (Gulf of Carpentaria)
- saucer scallops
- barramundi (southern Gulf of Carpentaria).
In 2017, 39 Queensland stocks were assessed, of which 13 were sustainable and 15 were undefined but not considered problematic. The same 6 species of concern from 2016 were classified as having sustainability concerns in 2017.
In 2018, Queensland will cooperate with fisheries agencies in other jurisdictions to complete the 4th National Status of Australian Fish Stocks process, ensuring that the status of key fish stocks is monitored in a robust and nationally consistent manner.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) assesses the stock status of important Queensland fish species each year. These assessments follow a weight-of-evidence approach where an expert panel determines the status of each stock. Each of these species is assessed at the stock level however DAF assesses only the Queensland component of these stocks. Stock status determinations help guide DAF in decisions about fisheries management and research. Stock status is current as at September 2017.