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Key fish stocks

Key Finding

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.

Fish stocks are assessed in Queensland every 2 years combining 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 2018, 80 of Queensland’s key fish stocks were assessed. Of these, 47 were classified as sustainable and 21 were undefined but not considered problematic. Negligible catch was reported for 4 stocks.

Species with sustainability concern included:

  • snapper
  • mangrove jack (Gulf of Carpentaria)
  • pearl perch
  • king threadfin (Gulf of Carpentaria)
  • ballot’s saucer scallop
  • barramundi (Southern Gulf of Carpentaria)
  • grey morwong
  • spanner crab.

Queensland is taking part in the 5th national Status of Australian Fish Stocks process in 2020.

More information:

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets


Download data from Queensland Government data


Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) assesses the status of important Queensland fish species. The assessments adhere to the national Status of Australian Fish Stocks framework for determining stock status.  Each species is assessed at the stock level. Stock status determinations help guide DAF in decisions about fisheries management and research. Stock status is current as at December 2019.