Saddletail snapper stock assessment

Assessment charts

Chart of Australian east coast stock assessment biomass estimates and key management actions for saddletail snapper.
© Queensland Government
Chart of estimated retained catch for Queensland east coast saddletail snapper from 1961 to 2020.
© Queensland Government

Why did we assess the saddletail snapper stock?

In 2021, Fisheries Queensland completed the first assessment of the east coast saddletail snapper stock. It used the most current biological data, 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 saddletail snapper stock was between 13% and 73% of unfished levels, and most probably at around 23%.

How was the stock assessment conducted?

The 2021 assessment implemented an age-structured model using the Stock Synthesis stock assessment modelling framework. This framework is one of the most widely used and tested stock assessment modelling frameworks 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 (PDF, 1.46MB) and Trawl fishery harvest strategies 2021–2026, 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 implementing the fishery harvest strategy
  • considers what management changes may be needed to respond to the stock assessment
  • may suggest future research or monitoring activities to improve the confidence of the stock assessment.

The working group includes representatives from:

  • commercial, recreational and charter sectors
  • seafood processors and wholesalers
  • Indigenous representatives
  • conservation sector.

More information

Read the Stock assessment of Queensland east coast saddletail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus) Australia report.