Chapter 1: Overview
H Patterson, L Georgeson, R Noriega, R Curtotti, F Helidoniotis, J Larcombe, S Nicol and A Williams
The Australian Government’s approach to fisheries management includes maintaining fish stocks at ecologically sustainable levels and, within this context, maximising the net economic returns (NER) to the Australian community (DAFF 2007). It also considers the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the long-term sustainability of the marine environment, as required by the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This requires an understanding of the biological status of stocks, the economic status of fisheries and the state of marine environments that support fisheries.
Fishery status reports 2018 provides an independent assessment of the biological status of fish stocks and the economic status of fisheries managed, or jointly managed, by the Australian Government (Commonwealth fisheries) (Figure 1.1). It summarises the performance of these fisheries in 2017 and over time, against the requirements of fisheries legislation and policy. The reports assess all key commercial species from Australian Government–managed fisheries and examines the broader impact of fisheries on the environment, including on non-target species.
To complete these reports, ABARES uses data and information from agencies such as the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and regional fisheries management organisations. The reports use information on catch and fishing effort, and other information for the most recent complete fishing season that is available, and the most recent stock assessments. Commonwealth fisheries operate with different fishing season dates, so the currency of catch data in the reports varies. To compare status from year to year, biological status and environmental status are presented for 2017. Economic status is presented for the 2016–17 financial year.