CONSUMERS now have access to the latest and most comprehensive report on the sustainability of Australia’s fish stocks.
The 2018 Status of Australian Fish Stock (SAFS) Reports assessed 120 species made up of 406 stocks across finfish, crustaceans, molluscs, sharks and rays.
The 2018 SAFS Reports provide the most scientifically robust, up-to-date information on the sustainability of Australia’s fish stocks
Overall, almost 80 per cent of the 406 stocks (120 species) were able to be assessed. Of those stocks assessed, almost 85 per cent were sustainable or recovering.
The SAFS Reports are available both in full at fish.gov.au and through a new smartphone app – SAFS Sustainable Fish Stocks.
The SAFS Reports have been compiled by over 100 of the country’s leading fisheries researchers from across Australia, ensuring the focus remains on good science.
They provide a high level of detail on where fish are caught today, as well as historical catch data. This allows consumers to easily find out if a species they are interested in is a sustainable purchase choice.
The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) facilitated the reports.
FRDC executive director, Dr Patrick Hone, said the work provides a simple way for seafood consumers, fishers, managers, and the public to understand how Australia’s fish stocks are performing.
The 2018 edition of the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports was launched today at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook Conference.

Results
Overall, most of the stocks are doing well. But the reports highlight that both managers and fishers alike cannot rest on their laurels and past performance. Fish stocks are constantly changing and require constant monitoring.
Key figures:
• 120 species (or species complexes) were assessed across Australia. Thirty-seven new species were added in the 2018 Reports;
• All five prawn species were assessed as sustainable;
• All five whiting species (Eastern School, King George, Sand, Stout and Yellowfin Whiting) were assessed as sustainable;
• All four Rock Lobster species were assessed as sustainable (Eastern Rock Lobster, Ornate Rock Lobster, Southern Rock Lobster, Western Rock Lobster);
• Four hundred and six status assessments were carried out on individual biological stocks; or management units or jurisdictions where biological stock structure was unknown, or where the number of stocks made assessment at the biological stock level impractical.