PRESS RELEASE: Independent Report Finds South East Fish Stocks in Great Shape

4th October 2016

4 October 2016.  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.  The 2016 report was released on 30 September and shows sustained excellence in fisheries management by the Commonwealth Government. For the third year in a row no stock solely managed by the Commonwealth is classified as subject to over-fishing.  Furthermore, the fishing mortality status of another three stocks managed by the Commonwealth have improved with blue eye trevalla, pink ling and redbait west moving from uncertain into the not-being-overfished green category.

Mr Simon Boag, Executive Officer of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) explained,

“The situation has improved again in the south east with two of the improved stocks coming from our fishery; blue eye trevalla and pink ling having moved from uncertain status to not-being-overfished green status.”

Mr Boag added,

“SETFIA and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) take particular credit for the improvement in the status of pink ling.”

Pink ling used to be managed as a single stock.  However, some years ago scientists resolved that the pink ling stock was in fact two separate stocks; east and west.  This made AFMA’s job of managing each stock difficult because AFMA had only a single quota unit to and had no direct control over the regional catch from these two stocks.  With AFMA’s agreement SETFIA members have been managing pink ling using a quota system within a quota system.  Within this system 19 eastern vessels catching pink ling have voluntarily set individual catch limits so that the recommended biological catch of eastern pink ling is not exceeded.  AFMA and SETFIA monitor the catch of the eastern stock weekly and the arrangement is working very well.

Importantly, no stocks in the south east trawl fishery were assessed as being subject to over-fishing.

The 2016 ABARES Stock Status Report can be found HERE. The South East Trawl Fishery is covered in chapter 8.

For more information, contact Simon Boag SETFIA 0428-141591