Stock Status Classification

Stock Status Classification

In order to assess species in a manner consistent with the national approach (and other jurisdictions), we have adopted the national stock status categories used in the Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) reporting scheme. These categories define the assessed state of the stock in terms of recruitment impairment, which represents a limit reference point. Recruitment impairment occurs when the mature adult population (spawning biomass) is depleted to a level where it no longer has the reproductive capacity to replenish itself. Hence, recruitment-impaired stocks have not necessarily collapsed, but they do have reduced productivity and face an undesirably high level of risk of collapse. Fisheries are ideally also managed towards target reference points, which aim to maximise long-term fisheries productivity. The scheme used here does not assess the fishery against target outcomes.

Stock Status Description and Potential Management Implications

Biomass (or proxy) is at a level sufficient to ensure that, on average, future levels of recruitment are adequate (recruitment is not impaired) and for which fishing mortality (or proxy) is adequately controlled to avoid the stock becoming recruitment impaired (overfishing is not occurring). Appropriate management is in place.

Biomass (or proxy) is not yet depleted and recruitment is not yet impaired, but fishing mortality (or proxy) is too high (overfishing is occurring) and moving the stock in the direction of becoming recruitment impaired.
Management is needed to reduce fishing mortality and ensure that the biomass does not become depleted.

Biomass (or proxy) is depleted and recruitment is impaired, but management measures are in place to promote stock recovery, and recovery is occurring.
Appropriate management is in place, and there is evidence that the biomass is recovering.

Biomass (or proxy) has been reduced through catch and/or non-fishing effects, such that recruitment is impaired. Current management is not adequate to recover the stock, or adequate management measures have been put in place but have not yet resulted in measurable improvements.
Management is needed to recover this stock; if adequate management measures are already in place, more time may be required for them to take effect.

Not enough information exists to determine stock status.
Data required to assess stock status are needed.