Victorian Fish Stock Status Report
The Victorian Fisheries Authority is committed to supporting sustainable fishing. Sustainability is ensured by avoiding growth and recruitment overfishing, and minimising effects of fishing operations on the surrounding environment.
To achieve this, we work closely with the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, indigenous communities and other stakeholders.
This web-based Victorian fish stock status report brings together the best available information on the status of key Victorian fisheries. It also provides an overview of how these fish stocks are managed. There are links to more detailed reports and information.
Fish should generally be managed as biological stocks. These comprise all individuals of a given fish species in a specified area, which are part of the same breeding population.
Biological stocks are generally self-contained and independent of other stocks of the same species, and vary in size and distribution. Stocks may be found in a single jurisdiction or be shared across State or international boundaries.
Fishing one stock may not directly affect others. Hence, it is important to assess each biological stock separately.
Biological stocks differ from fisheries. Fisheries are often managed as units or zones relevant to the harvesting of fish. Fisheries are typically defined in terms of the people involved, the species caught, area fished or the methods used.
A key measure of fisheries management performance is the status of fish stocks.
The status of key wild caught fish stocks that occur in Victorian waters was classified in 2014 against nationally agreed criteria in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks report 2014 (SAFS 2014). This process examined whether the level of harvest from the biomass of each stock is sustainable. Read more on the national stock status classification system.
Stock status was classified at the level of biological stock wherever possible. Otherwise, stocks were classified at the level of jurisdiction (i.e. Victoria) or smaller spatial management units (e.g. abalone zones). For shared biological stocks that extend beyond Victorian waters, the classification was applied across the stock's entire geographic range.
The stock status classifications for key Victorian fish stocks as at 2013/14 can be seen in the national Status of key Australian fish stocks report 2014 .
Risk management category for Victorian waters
Stock status is based only on sustainability. However, when managing fisheries, social and economic factors are also considered.
Any management changes can take time to affect a stock's status, depending on biological and environmental factors as well as the type and level of management changes implemented.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority has developed a risk management category for each stock that considers the steps that have been taken to address stock status.
The risk management category is an overall, qualitative assessment of current risk to the status of each key stock in Victorian waters. The assessment takes into account management arrangements and is based on the best available information.
Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
Green - stock status not of concern under current management
Risk management category assessments are for Victorian waters.
Risk management category
Australian salmon (eastern)
Australian salmon (western)
Australian sardine (eastern)
Australian sardine (southern)
Black bream (Victoria)
Blacklip abalone (western zone)
Blacklip abalone (central zone)
Blacklip abalone (eastern zone)
Dusky flathead (Victoria)
Giant crab (southern Australian stock)
Greenlip abalone (central zone)
Greenlip abalone (western zone)
Gummy shark (southern Australian stock)
Commonwealth managed stock
King George whiting (Victoria)
Murray cod (Victoria)
Sand flathead (Victoria)
Scallop (ocean stock)
Scallop (Port Phillip Bay stock)
School prawn (Victoria)
School shark (Southern Australian stock)
Commonwealth managed stock
Sea urchin – black
Sea urchin – white
Snapper (eastern )
Southern rock lobster