Southern Sand Flathead MSC-RBF

MSC-RBF Status

<60: Fail – High Risk

The sand flathead fishery scored < 60 in the MSC-RBF analysis, failing assessment with high risk of stock damage. The Productivity Susceptibility Analysis indicated this species is moderately productive, with a medium generation time and low fecundity. Sand flathead are moderately susceptible to capture and damage by the fishery. The species is distributed around Tasmania but only fished (albeit heavily) in a few areas. Although sand flathead occupies depths down to 100 m, this species prefers sheltered sandy habitat and is heavily fished on this habitat, with a high number of immature individuals caught and retained. The Consequence Analysis indicated sand flathead is a fully exploited species, with fail scores in every subcomponent of the assessment. While recreational catches dominate landings of sand flathead in Tasmania, the commercial fishery CPUE has declined steeply since 2008-09, reaching an historical low in 2015-16 with no significant increase since. Catch over time has comprised increasingly smaller and younger fish, with most catch currently below both maturity and the legal size limit. This stock is highly likely to be damaged and recruitment impaired as a result of fishery activity.

Productivity Attributes

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

Susceptibility Attributes

Post-capture mortality3

Consequence Analysis

Vulnerable Subcomponent(s)Score
All<60 – Fail

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