King George Whiting MSC-RBF

MSC-RBF Status

78: Pass- Medium Risk

The King George whiting fishery scored 60 – 80 in the MSC-RBF analysis, passing assessment with medium risk of stock damage. The Productivity Susceptibility Analysis indicated King George whiting is a highly productive species, moderately long-lived but relatively small and quick to mature; with high fecundity this species reproduces via broadcast spawning. King George whiting is highly susceptible to capture and damage by the fishery. The known distribution of this species in Tasmanian waters is restricted to the north and northeast coasts, substantially overlapping with fishery activity. King George whiting occupy shallow seagrass and sand habitat, facing a moderately high risk of encountering fishing gear (particularly gillnets). Although the northwest fishery tends to land adult and sub-adult King George whiting, the Tamar estuary fishery (and Georges Bay recreational fishery) is based almost entirely on juvenile fish. The fishery, however, is still under development, and the recreational fishery is currently responsible for most landings. Therefore, time-series data of commercial catch assessed in the Consequence Analysis showed minimal impact on stock status and long-term recruitment capacity. This outcome is likely to change as the fishery is developed. With catch comprising a high proportion of juvenile fish it is likely that the reproductive capacity and the age/size/sex structure of the stock will be impacted. The abundance of this species in Tasmanian waters appears to be increasing as environmental conditions change, however there is currently insufficient empirical evidence to draw conclusions about the stock status based on this information.

Productivity Attributes

Average age at maturity1
Average maximum age2
Average maximum size1
Average size at maturity2
Reproductive strategy1
Trophic level3

Susceptibility Attributes

Post-capture mortality3

Consequence Analysis

Vulnerable Subcomponent(s)Score

More information on the Marine Stewardship Council Risk-Based Framework (MSC-RBF) Methodology is available on our MSC-RBF Assessment page.