We contracted the University of Tasmania to undertake a survey of recreational fisher effort, catch, release and harvest estimates of southern bluefin tuna.
Based on the results and consultation with the commercial sector, recreational sector and relevant states, the Australian Government has announced 5% of Australia’s share of southern bluefin tuna fish should be available to Australia’s recreational fishers each year.
Five percent of Australia’s current allocation from the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna is 308 tonnes. This allows for some annual fluctuation in recreational catch and some growth in recreational catch over time. The amount available to recreational fishers may also increase if global catch levels improve as the fishery continues to rebuild.
The survey was undertaken in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales using varied techniques appropriate to each state. The survey methodology was based on the 2015 report ‘Developing robust and cost-effective methods for estimating the national recreational catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna in Australia’ (Moore et al., 2015).
Data was collected from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019.
Western Australia was not surveyed by the University of Tasmania because the data on southern bluefin tuna catch in Western Australia is collected bi-annually by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Southern bluefin tuna are not found off the Queensland or Northern Territory coasts.