Sustainable fishing

The small pelagic fishery (located in central and southern areas of Australia) has been the subject of significant research and assessment over many years, and is considered one of Australia’s most conservatively managed fisheries.

Fish eggs: Photo by John Keane, UTAS
Fish eggs: Photo by John Keane, UTAS

Seafish Tasmania is committed to ensuring sustainable fishing for generations to come. To make certain our oceanic ecosystems sustain their healthy habitats, we have applied for an independent assessment of our fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The MSC is a global non-profit organisation that works with partners to transform the world’s seafood markets and promote sustainable fishing practices. MSC assessment is concerned with the
sustainability of the fish stocks as well as ensuring that best practices are used to avoid by-catch and to look after the health of the ecosystem. The MSC’s evaluation process uses the best science and evidence-based facts available when carrying out their assessments of fisheries.


Infographic: relative importance of food sources for predator marine life in the small pelagic fishery

The target small pelagic species (redbait, blue mackerel and jack mackerel) are shown in scale compared to other prey species in the fishery (sardines, anchovies and lantern fish).

Target fish
Image by Caleb Gardner, UTAS

The dotted line represents the total allowable quota available to be fished; approximately 8 % of the biomass of redbait, blue mackerel and jack mackerel.

Sardines, anchovies and lantern fish are a much more important food source for predator species – sharks, tuna, bill fish and seals than the target small pelagic fish.