Eastern School Whiting
2019/20 Assessment Summary
Eastern School Whiting is a predominately Commonwealth-managed species that has been classified as “Not overfished nor subject to overfishing” by ABARES for 2019. It has been classified as Sustainable in the 2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks Report. Tasmanian catches fluctuate due to market demand, but generally represent only a small proportion of the Commonwealth commercial catch.
Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery and Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark
Catch, effort and CPUE trends
School Whiting have been exploited in Tasmania since the mid-1970s with total catches ranging between 20 t and 175 t throughout the 1980s (Kailola et al. 1993). The vast majority of the catch is taken by Danish seine in the south of the state. Danish seine fishing operations target either School Whiting (with Flathead as a by-product) or Flathead (with School Whiting as by-product). This situation tends to cause opposing trends in catches for these two species. School Whiting are marketed and processed primarily in Melbourne.
The largest share of School Whiting catches in Australia is landed in Commonwealth waters. The Commonwealth fishery alone accounted for 1,000–2,500 t per year over the last 30 years, of which about 75% of this catch taken by Danish seine vessels operating out of Lakes Entrance, Victoria (Morison et al. 2012). Fisheries in other states are also important. The New South Wales state-managed fishery for School Whiting has been increasing in recent years and now accounts for about 60% of the total catch, which has led to equity disagreements given that state catches are deducted from the Commonwealth Total Allowable Catch (Morison et al. 2012).
The full 2019/20 Scalefish Assessment can be found at the link: