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Fisheries Stocktake Confidence Boost for Consumers

12 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) says consumers can be confident in the sustainability of Australian seafood this Christmas.

Consumers can be confident in the sustainability of Australian seafood.

A new report shows that the vast majority of key Australian fish stocks are healthy and well-managed.

The Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2012 is the first national snapshot of fish stock status and gives seafood consumers a source of independent, science-based information about the sustainability of a selection of fish widely available at retail outlets around Australia.

AFMA CEO Dr James Findlay said that strong improvements in Commonwealth fish stocks were allowing catch limits for some species to be raised, based on scientific evidence.

"For the 2012-13 fishing season AFMA was able to increase catch limits for a number of popular table fish including Blue Grenadier and Blue-eye Trevalla," Dr Findlay said.

For some species where AFMA has set highly precautionary catch limits new research is showing that, in fact, these species are in better shape than we thought and this is really great news.”

The only two species listed in the report as ‘overfished’, Southern Bluefin Tuna and School Shark, have rebuilding strategies in place and are showing signs of recovery.

In addition, a separate report released by ABARES earlier this year showed that profitability in most Commonwealth-managed fisheries has also increased. Average net economic returns to boats in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, which supplies 21,000 tonnes of seafood to Australian consumers, are at their highest level since surveys began in the mid-1990s.

"This is an important boost for fishing communities in regional and rural Australia," Dr Findlay said.

The Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2012 was produced by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation in collaboration with government fisheries research agencies from all states and the Northern Territory and CSIRO. The report can be found at

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