Sustainable wild-catch fisheries in South Australia
South Australia’s clean marine waters are home to some of the most sought after, premium seafood in the world. Our state is viewed as a world leader in fisheries management and sustainability. Careful management based on sound research ensures that the health and quality of SA’s marine environments continue to produce fresh, premium, local seafood that is among the cleanest and safest in the world.
In South Australia, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) is responsible for the ecologically sustainable development of South Australia’s aquatic resources. It has a range of management controls in place to ensure the long-term health of our fish stocks and viability of our commercial, recreational and Aboriginal traditional fisheries.
The Fisheries Management Act 2007 and its regulations provide the legislative framework, objectives and guiding principles for the management of fisheries in South Australia.
Each fishery is managed via:
- fisheries legislation
- a management plan that provides the strategic policy framework for the fishery
- licence conditions for commercial fisheries.
Each management plan includes ecological, social and economic indicators as a means of reporting on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), now accepted as the foundation for natural resource management in Australia.
Information to develop management strategies includes:
- Regular fishery (stock) assessment reports and status reports by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
- ESD risk assessment reports
- Economic performance indicators
Additional controls can also be used, such as:
- Quota management systems and setting of total allowable commercial catches to manage overall commercial harvest within a fishery.
- Controls on fishing effort, such as the number of people permitted to engage in fishing activities on a commercial licence or the number of nights permitted to be fished, to manage overall commercial harvest within a fishery.
- Fishing limits such as minimum and maximum size limits, recreational daily bag and boats limits, and possession limits
- Gear limits and restrictions for recreational and commercial fishers.
- Fishing closures at certain times to protect spawning adults of particular species during their breeding seasons or in certain areas to avoid capture of by-catch or protected species.
- Vessel monitoring systems, established under the Fisheries Management (Vessel Monitoring Scheme) Regulations 2007, are used to assist with the monitoring and management of the Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery and the Sardine Fishery.
- Aquatic reserves for permanently closing areas to fishing to protect important fish habitats.