Victorian Fish Stock Status Report

Image by Julian Finn, Museum of Victoria

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 stocks

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.

Stock status

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 Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
Amber Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
Green Green - stock status not of concern under current management

Risk management category assessments are for Victorian waters. 

Stock

Risk management category

More information

Australian salmon (eastern)

Green

Australian salmon (eastern stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for Australian salmon in Victorian waters

Australian salmon (western)

Green

Australian salmon (western stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for Australian salmon in Victorian waters

Australian sardine (eastern)

Green

Australian sardine (eastern stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for Australian sardine in Victorian waters

Australian sardine (southern)

Green

Australian sardine (southern stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for Australian sardine in Victorian waters

Black bream (Victoria)

Green

Black bream assessment

Fishing methods and rules for black bream in Victorian waters

Blacklip abalone (western zone)

Amber

Blacklip abalone (western zone) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for abalone in Victoria

Victorian commercial abalone fishery

Blacklip abalone (central zone)

Amber

Blacklip abalone (central zone) assessment

Blacklip abalone (eastern zone)

Amber

Blacklip abalone (eastern zone) classification

Dusky flathead (Victoria)

Green

Dusky flathead assessment

Fishing methods and rules for dusky flathead in Victorian waters

Giant crab (southern Australian stock)

Amber

Giant crab (southern Australian stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for giant crab in Victorian waters

Commercial giant crab fishery in Victoria

Greenlip abalone (central zone)

Amber

Greenlip abalone (central zone) stock assessment

Fishing methods and rules for greenlip abalone in Victorian waters

Commercial abalone fishery in Victoria

Greenlip abalone (western zone)

Amber

Greenlip abalone (western zone) assessment

Gummy shark (southern Australian stock)

Commonwealth managed stock

Gummy shark (southern Australian stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for gummy shark in Victorian waters

King George whiting (Victoria)

Green

King George whiting assessment

Fishing methods and rules for King George whiting in Victorian waters

Murray cod (Victoria)

Green

Murray cod assessment

Fishing methods and rules for Murray cod in Victorian waters

Sand flathead (Victoria)

Amber

Sand flathead assessment

Fishing methods and rules for sand flathead in Victorian waters

Scallop (ocean stock)

Amber

Scallop (ocean stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for scallop in Victorian waters

Commercial scallop fishery in Victoria

Scallop (Port Phillip Bay stock)

Green

Scallop (Port Phillip Bay) stock assessment

School prawn (Victoria)

Green

School prawn assessment

Fishing methods and rules for school prawn in Victorian waters

School shark (Southern Australian stock)

Commonwealth managed stock

School shark (Southern Australian stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for school shark in Victorian waters

Sea urchin – black

Green

Black sea urchin assessment

Fishing methods and rules for sea urchin in Victorian waters

Sea urchin – white

Green

White sea urchin assessment

Fishing methods and rules for sea urchin in Victorian waters

Snapper (eastern )

Green

Snapper (eastern stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for snapper in Victorian waters

Snapper (western)

Green

Snapper (western stock) assessment

Southern calamari

Green

Southern calamari assessment

Fishing methods and rules for calamari in Victorian waters

Southern garfish

Amber

Southern garfish assessment

Fishing methods and rules for garfish in Victorian waters

Southern rock lobster

Green

Southern rock lobster (south east Australian stock) assessment

Fishing methods and rules for southern rock lobster in Victorian waters

Commercial rock lobster fishery in Victoria

Tailor

Green

Tailor assessment

Fishing methods and rules for tailor in Victorian waters

Yelloweye mullet

Amber

Yelloweye mullet assessment

Fishing methods and rules for yelloweye mullet in Victorian waters