Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries continue to be well-managed and sustainable, according to a new report released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES).

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the ABARES Fishery status reports was a testament to the hard-work and dedication of the industry and government.

“This report has found that none of the stocks in fisheries that are solely managed by the Australian Government were classified as subject to overfishing for the seventh consecutive year.

“It shows Commonwealth fisheries are well-managed and they are subject to a range of management and monitoring measures to ensure their sustainability,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Australia’s fisheries span across a large area of ocean, and it’s so important we get it right. Australia has the world’s third largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Australian Fishing Zone is larger than mainland Australia, covering 8 million kilometres squared.

“The economic performance of fisheries managed by the Australian Government was valued at $437 million in gross value of production (GVP) in 2018–19, which represents 24 per cent of the $1.79 billion GVP of Australia’s total wild-capture fisheries.

“It’s fantastic to see so many Australian fishing and aquaculture enterprises adopting innovative solutions that add value to their products. These solutions help maintain profitability in the face of changing factors beyond the control of fishers, such as exchange rates and fuel prices.

“There’s no doubt that our hardworking fishers are experiencing some of their toughest challenges as we face the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“But this report confirms that the sector has a very strong foundation that will enable them to continue to adapt, rebuild and grow in a positive and suitable way for generations to come.

“Our Government is playing its part in supporting industry, waiving levies for Commonwealth fishers, assisting in market diversification and providing funding for the first industry-led marketing campaign to encourage Australians to eat more Australian seafood.

“Importantly, we have also created and invested in an International Freight Assistance Mechanism that means our fishers can continue to get product to key export markets, which has just been extended to June 30 next year.

“We will continue backing our hardworking fishers to ensure the seafood industry is supported during these difficult times.”