Common coral trout stock assessment

Chart of Australian east coast stock assessment biomass estimates and key management actions for common coral trout

The chart presents the biomass ratio of common coral trout from 1953 to 2022. The ratio is relative to 1 in 1953. Data used in the stock assessment includes 53 years of commercial catch data, 37061 fish aged, 41472 commercially caught fish measured, 6778 recreational catches measured, 8242 fish measured in underwater visual surveys and 26883 fish observed in underwater visual surveys.
© Queensland Government

Chart of estimated retained catch for Queensland east coast common coral trout from 1953 to 2021

The chart presents retained catch for common coral trout on the east coast of Queensland. The chart shows the data used and the modelled retained catch for both the commercial and recreational sectors.
© Queensland Government

Why did we assess the common coral trout stock?

In 2022, Fisheries Queensland completed the fourth stock assessment of the east coast common coral trout stock. It used the most current biological data, survey data, and commercial and recreational catch data to:

  • determine the sustainability of the stock
  • help inform management decisions
  • inform the application of the reef line harvest strategy.

This assessment estimated that the common coral trout stock was between 50% and 70% of unfished levels, and most probably at around 60%.

How was the stock assessment conducted?

The 2022 assessment used a stock assessment model called Stock Synthesis, one of the most widely used and tested stock assessment models in the world. It is currently used by CSIRO and other Australian fisheries jurisdictions.

Next steps for fishery management

Under the Queensland Harvest Strategy Policy and Reef Line Harvest Strategy 2020–2025 , management strategies are applied to keep stocks above the limit reference point (20% biomass) and set a target reference point to manage stocks toward.

The Reef Line Fishery working group provides advice on the operational aspects of the management of the fishery. The working group includes representatives from commercial, recreational and charter sectors; seafood processors and wholesalers, Indigenous representatives and the conservation sector.

More information

Access the Stock assessment of Queensland east coast common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), Australia, with data to December 2021 report.