​Media Release

Reeling in good fish figures

30 October 2015

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, today welcomed the latest ABARES Fishery status reports, which show continued good performance for Commonwealth fisheries management.

"This is the second year in a row that no solely Australian government managed fish stock has been classified as subject to overfishing and I congratulate the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the commercial fishing industry on this achievement," Minister Ruston said.

"A particular milestone is the change in status of the eastern zone orange roughy stock, now classified as not overfished.

"Orange roughy was subject to overfishing in the 1980s and 1990s and closed to targeted fishing.

"Now, the most recent assessment shows the biomass —that is the total number of fish—has rebuilt as a result of appropriate fisheries management and cooperation by industry. This has enabled commercial fishing on the eastern stock to recommence.

"This is a good example of government stock rebuilding initiatives and our commitment to the sustainable use of fisheries resources.

"While the report is generally good news for solely Commonwealth managed fisheries, the Australian Government recognises that there are still some challenges in the fisheries managed jointly under international arrangements, where many nations fish the stocks.

"The reports classify bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific and striped marlin in the Indian Ocean as both subject to overfishing and overfished.

"The Australian Government is working with other countries that fish these stocks to develop management measures and harvest strategy approaches aimed at resolving these issues.

"But the trend is undeniable. In the past 10 years, there has been an increase in the number of fish stocks that are not subject to overfishing and are not overfished.

"This report card shows a world class, sustainable industry, managed using the best available scientific advice.

"These figures should inspire confidence in Australian families buying our seafood—they are choosing fish from well-managed and sustainable Australian fisheries.

"Australia has a reputation as a supplier of safe, environmentally sustainable, high-quality seafood.

"This is something we should all be proud of."

To read the report, visit agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.