Fish stocks in the south east trawl fishery being fished sustainably

30 October 2015. For immediate release.

Each year the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) release a report on the stock status of all fish stocks managed by the Australian Government. Mr Simon Boag, Executive Officer of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), explained,

“Today’s report shows sustained excellence in fisheries management by the Commonwealth Government. Again, no stock solely managed by the Commonwealth is classified as subject to overfishing. There continue to be challenges in some fisheries managed jointly under international arrangements, where other nations fish the stocks.”

“With regard to stocks caught by trawling in south eastern Australia the biggest change is that eastern zone orange roughy off Tasmania is no longer classed as being overfished. The only other change was the status of redfish has declined and the stock is now managed under a non-target quota to allow it to rebuild. The report found that no stock in the fishery is currently being overfished.”

“Orange Roughy’s recovery is a testament to the tough management that was put in place by dropping quotas to levels that did not allow targeting and allowed the stock to recover.”

“SETFIA is proud to have contracted Hobart’s CSIRO to run several surveys of eastern orange roughy using acoustic optical survey (AOS) technology developed in Australia. This Tasmanian technology has now been exported to New Zealand. The eastern surveys found 30,000-48,000 tonnes of fish and s lead to the setting of a yearly 500 tonne quota.”

“The proven recovery of eastern Tasmania’s orange roughy stock and small total allowable quota has increased the annual value of landed catch by about $4m. It has employed many people in downstream processing. Many of these jobs are in Tasmania which has the second highest unemployment rate of all the States in Australia.”

“The Government’s plans to enter into a free trade agreement with China would see the value of exports rise. Orange roughy is replenishing at a rate faster than it is being caught so this catch and the jobs it generates can continue into the future.”

The 2014 ABARES Stock Status Report can be found HERE. The South East Trawl Fishery is covered in chapter 9.

For more information contact Simon Boag SETFIA 0428-141591