​Media Release

Australia commits to sustainable fisheries for all

28 September 2017

Ensuring every Australian's right to go fishing and have access to local seafood from some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world is at the heart of the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement launched today at Seafood Directions 2017 in Sydney.

​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the Statement recognised the shared nature of Commonwealth fisheries, the importance of maximising social and economic benefits for all Australians, and the critical need for sustainable management and protecting the natural marine environment.

"Australia is a world leader in sustainable fisheries management and we want to make sure this remains the case into the future," Minister Ruston said.

"The way we manage our fisheries ensures access for about 3.4 million recreational fishers and more than 186,000 Indigenous Australians who participate in non-commercial fishing every year.

"It also supports our $2.8 billion fisheries industry and the  more than 14,000 people employed in the commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors – many of them in regional areas.

"To build on the success of our current approach, we need to keep looking for innovative ways to sustainably harvest our marine resources to benefit both Australian commercial and recreational fishing.

"The Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement supports this vision by describing how fisheries resources in Commonwealth waters are sustainably managed, our commitment to transparent decision making, and to ensuring safe and healthy local seafood is available to all Australians.

"It provides valuable guidance to industry on what is important to the government and how we make decisions to support the future of our fisheries."

To view the full Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement visit www.agriculture.gov.au/fisheries-policy-statement.

Fast facts:

  • More than 3.4 million Australians are regular fishers and on average Australians eat 140 serves of seafood every year.
  • Australia's fisheries are owned by all Australians and shared between numerous stakeholders.
  • Commonwealth fisheries share fish stocks with the states and the Northern Territory—catches are managed cooperatively to assure sustainability.
  • The 2016 Fisheries status report showed that for the third consecutive year no fish stocks were classified as subject to overfishing in any fisheries managed solely by the Australian Government.