Sustaining Australian fisheries

We’re helping to develop a consistent, national approach to harvest strategies with Australia's fisheries.

The Challenge

Sustaining our fisheries

Marine ecosystems are under increasing and competing demand for their services and products. Australia’s fisheries and marine ecosystems need to be managed properly to remain sustainable.

Our Response

Providing the science toolkit for sustainable fisheries management

Australian fisheries are among the best managed in the world. Management changes introduced by the Australian Government and the fishing industry since 2006 have achieved more sustainable fish stocks and improved profits in most Commonwealth fisheries.

We're working to ensure the sustainability of Australia's fishing industry.

Our research has provided the backbone for this transformation, from understanding fish biology, movements and ecosystems, to developing standard approaches for fisheries assessment and ecosystem-based management.

Our achievements in this area include:

  • Leading the development of harvest strategy guidelines for Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries.
  • Developing world-leading practical scientific tools to support ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) across Australia's Commonwealth-managed fisheries.
  • Applying a sophisticated management strategy evaluation in the Torres Strait Rock Lobster Fishery.
  • Developing the Atlantis marine ecosystem model- rated by the United Nations as the best ecosystem model in the world.
  • Creating an innovative management plan for the southern bluefin tuna which will lead to rebuilding of the stock.
  • Working with our partners to develop the world’s first tropical prawn fishery to be certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
  • Conducing large-scale sampling of albacore tuna across the southern hemisphere.
  • Using advanced technology to explore seamount habitats and provide improved estimates of orange roughy biomass.


Case studies

  • Identifying ocean connections with CONNIE

    CSIRO researchers have developed an online tool known as CONNIE to help understand the influence of ocean currents on the breeding success of commercial species such as sardines, tuna, lobsters and pearl oysters.

  • Strengthening the coral reef fishing industry

    We’re working with fishing industry operators and managers to build a risk management tool for the Great Barrier Reef’s Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery, which was valued at almost A$40 million in 2009–2010.

  • Co-creating Ecosystem based Fisheries Management Solutions

    The MareFrame project, led by Dr. Anna Kristín Daníelsdóttir (Matis ohf) and Prof Gunnar Stefánsson (University of Iceland) brings fisheries managers, environment groups and researchers from across the world together to address challenges in the sustainable management of European fisheries.

  • Northern Prawn Fishery: world class management

    Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery is recognised as a world leader in marine fishery management, thanks to a long-term partnership between the industry and CSIRO.

  • Rebuilding troubled fisheries

    Our Atlantis ecosystem model is one of the world’s most successful whole-of-ecosystem models for the marine environment.

  • Rock lobster fishery balances lifestyle and livelihood

    CSIRO researchers are studying the Torres Strait tropical rock lobster fishery to develop a scientific approach to integrate cultural factors into natural resource management.


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