Stock assessment program

By itself, fisheries data can be misleading because many factors influence fish stocks and fisheries (e.g. season can influence catch and weather can influence fishing effort). Misinterpreting data, or only looking at some of the data, can lead to very different opinions about the sustainability of fish stocks. Stock assessments interpret all these factors in a consistent way.

Stock assessments integrate our understanding of ecology, biology, environment, fishing behaviours and other drivers (such as product value) to give us a measure of the health of fish stocks.

They are critical to support evidence-based harvest strategies and fisheries management – stock assessments are scheduled to link with harvest strategy timelines and are typically reviewed every 1–3 years to set fishing effort and harvest targets.

The results also contribute to Status of Australian Fish Stocks reports, to determine if a stock is sustainably fished, overfished or somewhere in between.

How we assess fish stocks

Stock assessments are completed by our specialist fishery scientists, who have skills in mathematical modelling, biological research, statistical analysis and computer science  .

They use a model-based stock assessment, which is a mathematical tool that calculates the status of a fish stock and assesses how these fish will respond to different management procedures. It brings together a large volume of data, including:

  • commercial logbook data
  • recreational harvest estimates
  • biological surveys
  • environmental conditions
  • economic information.

Stock assessment project teams

Fisheries Queensland ensures stock assessments occur in a transparent and evidence-based way by engaging a stock assessment ‘project team’. This is about choosing the right mix of skill sets, clearly defining team member roles and tasks, and clearly documenting the process. The project team terms of reference (PDF, 207.9KB) have been designed to support this.

Reports and assessment schedule

Click on the links below for the latest stock assessment reports – you can also access previous reports by searching our eResearch Archive.

The following species have been assessed or are scheduled to be assessed by the end of 2024.

Barramundi   View   
Black jewfish      View  
Black teatfish    View   
Blue swimmer crab    View     
Burrowing blackfish        
Common coral trout   ViewView View  
Crimson snapper     View   
Dusky flathead   View  View  
Eastern king prawn    View    
Grey mackerel   View     
King threadfin     View  
Moreton Bay bug        
Pearl perch View    View  
Prickly redfish        
Red emperor      View   
Redspot king prawn        
Redthroat emperor    View    
Saddletail snapper     View   
Sand whiting   View    
Saucer scallop    ViewViewView
Sea mullet  View   View  
Snapper  View     
School mackerel   View     
Spanish mackerel  View  View View  
Spotted mackerel  View     
Stout whiting     View   
Tailor View  View    
Tiger prawns     View  
Tropical rock lobster        
White teatfish    View   
Yellowfin bream   View