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 2023. This schedule will be updated as soon as the timing of stock assessments is confirmed.

Barramundi    ✔ View    
Black jewfish       ✔ View 
Black teatfish      ✔ View  
Blue swimmer crab     ✔ View   
Burrowing blackfish        
Common coral trout    ✔ View ✔ View  ✔ 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     ✔ View ✔ View ✔ View
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 
White teatfish      ✔ View  
Yellowfin bream    ✔ View