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   Read 2019 barramundi report    
Black jewfish      Read 2022 black jewfish report 
Black teatfish     Read 2021 black teatfish report  
Blue swimmer crab    Read 2020 blue swimmer crab report   
Burrowing blackfish        
Common coral trout   Read 2019 common coral trout report Read 2020 common coral trout report Read 2022 common coral trout report 
Crimson snapper     Read 2021 crimson snapper report  
Dusky flathead   Read 2019 dusky flathead report  Read 2022 dusky flathead report 
Endeavour prawn       Read 2023 endeavour prawn report
Eastern king prawn    Read 2020 eastern king prawn report   
Grey mackerel   Read 2019 grey mackerel report    
King threadfin     Read 2021 king threadfin report  
Moreton Bay bug       Read 2023 Moreton Bay bug report
Pearl perch Read 2017 pearl perch report    Read 2022 pearl perch report 
Prickly redfish        
Red emperor      Read 2022 red emperor report 
Red spot king prawn        Read the 2023 red spot king prawn report
Redthroat emperor    Read 2020 redthroat emperor report   
Saddletail snapper     Read 2021 saddletail snapper report  
Sand whiting   Read 2019 sand whiting report    
Saucer scallop    Read 2020 saucer scallop reportRead 2021 saucer scallop reportRead 2022 saucer scallop report 
Sea mullet  Read 2018 sea mullet report   Read 2022 sea mullet report 
Snapper  Read 2018 snapper report     
School mackerel   Read 2019 school mackerel report    
Spanish mackerel  Read 2018 Spanish mackerel report  Read 2021 Spanish mackerel reportRead 2022 Spanish mackerel report 
Spotted mackerel  Read 2018 spotted mackerel report     
Stout whiting     Read 2021 stout whiting report  
Tailor Read 2017 tailor report  Read 2020 tailor report   
Tiger prawn     Read 2021 tiger prawn report Read 2023 tiger prawn report
White teatfish     Read 2021 white teatfish report  
Yellowfin bream   Read 2019 yellowfin bream report