Glossary of terms

Biomass Total weight or volume of a stock or component of a stock. Is often described as a ratio of current biomass to unfished biomass. Can be referred to in a number of ways, for example:
  • spawning stock biomass would refer to all adult (reproductively mature) fish in a population
  • exploitable biomass would refer to the combined weight of fish that are accessible to the fishery or venerable capture.
Biomass limit reference point (BLIM) The point beyond which the risk to the stock is regarded as unacceptably high.
Biomass at maximum economic yield (BMEY) The average biomass which corresponds to maximum economic yield. See also ‘Maximum economic yield’.
Biomass at maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) The average biomass which corresponds to maximum sustainable yield. See also ‘Maximum sustainable yield’.
Biomass target (BTARG) The desired biomass of the stock.
Bycatch A species that is incidentally either:
  • taken in a fishery and returned to the sea
  • killed or injured as a result of interacting with fishing equipment in the fishery, but not taken.
Bycatch can include protected species.
Byproduct Any part of the catch which is kept or sold by the fisher, but which is not the target species. Byproduct makes some contribution to the value of the catch in a fishery but less than that of key commercial species.
Catch In relation to fishing, means capture, take or harvest.
Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) The number or weight of fish caught by a unit of fishing effort. Can be used as an index of relative abundance or indicator of change in the fishery.
Change buffers Restrictions on how small or large a change to the allowable harvest of a sector (i.e. TACC or TARC) can be in a given year. Also called Change Limiting Rules.
Choke species (or stock) Generally those species (or stocks) that are not a key commercial stock, but the management of which restricts the ability of fishers to fully catch or access the quota for a key commercial stock.
Decision rules Pre-determined rules that control fishing activity according to the biological, social and economic conditions of the fishery (as defined by monitoring or assessment). Also called Harvest Control Rules (HCR), and are a key element of a harvest strategy.
Department Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland).
Discards Any part of the catch which is returned to the sea, whether dead or alive.
Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) Using, conserving and enhancing the community’s fisheries resources and fish habitats so that the ecological processes on which life depends are maintained; and the total quality of life, both now and in the future, can be improved. Principles of ecologically sustainable development (as per the Fisheries Act 2019):
  1. enhancing individual and community wellbeing through economic development that safeguards the wellbeing of future generations
  2. providing fairness within and between generations
  3. protecting biological diversity, ecological processes and life-support systems
  4. in making decisions, effectively integrating fairness and short and long-term economic, environmental and social considerations
  5. considering the global dimension of environmental impacts of actions and policies
  6. considering the need to maintain and enhance competition, in an environmentally sound way
  7. considering the need to develop a strong, growing and diversified economy that can enhance the capacity for environmental protection
  8. that decisions and actions should provide for broad community involvement on issues affecting them
  9. the precautionary principle
Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) An assessment process that evaluates the relative risk posed by fishing on species, habitats and communities within a fishery.
Effort Also, called fishing effort. A measure of the resources (such as fishing hours or hook sets) used to harvest a fishery’s stocks.
EPBC Act The Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
EPBC Act–listed species EPBC Act–listed species comprises all those protected under Part 13 of the EPBC Act including whales and other cetaceans and listed threatened, marine and migratory species (except for conservation-dependent species which are managed through rebuilding strategies under the Harvest Strategy Policy).
Fisheries Act 1994 (The Act) Queensland Act that provides the legal framework for fisheries managed by the Australian Government. The Act sets out, among other things: fisheries management objectives and arrangements for regulating; permitting; and taking enforcement action with respect to fishing operations.
Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulation 2019 Queensland regulation setting out the management and operation of commercial fisheries (authorisation of commercial fishing activities).
Fisheries (General) Regulation 2019 Queensland fishing setting out the general management of all fisheries in Queensland.
Fisheries Queensland Means the Queensland Government agency that, among other things, has responsibility for management of Queensland’s fisheries.
Fishing fishing includes:
  1. searching for, or taking, fish; and
  2. attempting to search for, or take, fish; and
  3. engaging in other activities that can reasonably be expected to result in the locating, or taking, of fish; and
  4. landing fish (from a boat or in another way), bringing fish ashore or transhipping fish
Fishing mortality rate (F) The rate of mortality due to fishing activities.
Generation time The average time taken for an individual to replace itself within the population. Taken in this document to be the average age of fish that have reached maturity and spawned once.
Hockey stick rule ‘Hockey stick rule’ is shorthand for the default type of decision rule used to manage target species in Queensland. It is based on the level of fishing mortality and is described in detail in chapter 12.1.
Incidental catch The portion of the catch that was not the intended target of a fishing operation.
Indicator Provides information on the state of the stock or fishery.
Input controls Management measures that place restraints on fishing, e.g. who fishes (licence limitations), where they fish (closed areas), when they fish (closed seasons) or how they fish (gear restrictions).
Indigenous fishing permit (IFP) An IFP allows an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or community to trial a commercial fishing activity without having to initially acquire commercial fishing authorities.
Individually Transferable Effort (ITE) Amount of effort allocated to an individual fisher or company.
Individually Transferable Quota (ITQ) Amount of catch allocated to an individual fisher or company.
Limit reference point (LRP) The level of an indicator (such as biomass or fishing mortality) below which the risk to the stock is regarded as unacceptably high (for example, ≤B20).
Management strategy evaluation (MSE) A procedure whereby alternative management strategies are tested and compared using simulations of stock and fishery dynamics.
Management Unit A management unit may be the target or a secondary species or stock, biological stock boundaries or some other geographical boundary related to the fishery or gear, or a combination of these.
Maximum Economic Yield (MEY) Sustainable level of harvest that allows net economic returns (profit) to be maximised.
Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) The maximum average sustainable annual fishing mortality that can occur on a stock over an indefinite period under prevailing environmental conditions.
National Guidelines Refers to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s National Guidelines to Develop Fishery Harvest Strategies.
Output controls Management measures that place restrictions on the outputs from fishing, including how much is caught, what species are taken and the size of those species.
Overfished A fish stock with a biomass below its biomass limit reference point or below its specified indicator limit reference point.
Overfishing A stock that is experiencing too much fishing. The rate of removals from a stock is likely to result in the stock becoming overfished. For a stock that is already overfished, overfishing is a rate of removals that will prevent stock recovery in accordance with its rebuilding strategy.
Performance measure Provides information on management performance. A measure of where an indicator is in relation to a reference point.
Population All the organisms of the same species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding.
Precautionary principle The principle that, if there is a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone measures to prevent environment degradation, or possible environmental degradation, because of the threat.
Proxy In the context of the Harvest Strategy Policy, a more easily estimated figure used to represent the value of a reference point. For example, a target biomass of 60% is a proxy for BMEY where the actual value of BMEY may be unknown.
Recommended biological catch (RBC) An output from (certain) harvest control rules. Provides an estimate of the total fishing mortality (landings from all sectors plus discards) recommended to achieve a predefined target. Distinct from total allowable catch (TAC).
Rebuilding strategy A strategy designed to rebuild an overfished stock to above its limit reference point and towards its target reference point.
Recruit to the fishery or Fishery Recruit A fish that has just become susceptible to catch in the fishery. Sometimes used in relation to population components (for example, a recruit to the spawning stock when a fish reaches maturity).
Recruitment The amount of fish added to the exploitable stock each year due to growth and/or migration into the fishing area. For example, the number of fish that grow to become vulnerable to the fishing gear in one year would be the recruitment to the fishable population that year. This term is also used in referring to the number of fish from a year class reaching a certain age.
Species A group of animals in which members can breed with one another and produce fertile offspring.
Sector (fishing) a part of the fishing industry representing:
  1. commercial fishing; or
  2. charter fishing; or
  3. recreational fishing; or
  4. Indigenous fishing
Stock (or Unit Stock) A unit of management (subpopulation) of a particular fish species with or without common intrinsic population parameters (growth, recruitment, mortality and fishing mortality) and for which extrinsic factors (immigration and emigration) may be ignored. A stock may encompass the whole distribution of a species, in which case they are in effect the same thing. Or it may be some subset of the distribution of a species, in which case a species would have stock structure and comprise multiple stocks. See also ‘Management Unit’.
Stock assessment: A scientific analysis of a fish stock to estimate quantities of management or scientific interest such as fishing mortality and biomass, particularly in the context of reference levels.
Strategy The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027.
Target species The key species that drive fishing behaviour in a fishery or by a fishing sector.
Target reference point (TRP): The desired state of the stock or fishery (for example, MEY or 60%).
TMIN (and 2TMIN) Rebuilding timeframes specified relative to the minimum timeframe for rebuilding in the absence of commercial fishing.
Total Allowable Catch (TAC) The harvest limit set as an output control on fishing for all fishing sectors.
Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) The harvest limit set for the commercial fishing sector usually achieved through setting TACC or TACE, but sometimes through input controls.
Total Allowable Commercial Effort (TACE) The annual effort limit set for a stock, species or species group. Used to control commercial fishing mortality within a fishery.
Total Allowable Recreational Catch (TARC) The annual harvest limit set for the recreational fishing sector. Usually achieved through possession limits, temporal and geographical closures etc. and measured through recreational fishing surveys.
Trigger reference point (TrRP) Agreed point at which additional review, assessment or management action may be taken in a fishery.
Triple bottom line referring to Ecological, Economic and Social objectives. See also Ecological Sustainable Development.