19 November, 2014
Excellent management of Australia's fisheries has led to an increase in the sustainable catch for the prized Patagonian Toothfish.
The total allowable catch limit was increased by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) following a recommendation from a Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Tasmania last month.
It will enable Australian operators to sustainably catch 4410 tonnes in the coming season, an increase of 1680 tonnes.
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed the increase and said it reflects an investment by Australian industry and government in high quality research and many years of sound management.
"The increased sustainable catch limit is a credit to Australian Antarctic Division scientists, the fishing industry, particularly Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline, and other Government authorities," he said.
"It is the result of a significant amount of work over the last 12 months on the stock assessment for the fishery and represents the best scientific evidence available."
Senator Colbeck said Patagonian Toothfish is a valuable resource and the increased catch will represent a significant contribution to the Australian economy.
"The fishery is certified by the independent Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) so consumers can be confident that they are eating sustainable seafood," he said.
"Australia's fisheries are world-class - they are sustainably managed based on the best available science and produce a premium product."
The increased catch limit backs up the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Fishery Status Report which shows no solely Commonwealth managed fishery is subject to overfishing.
More information on the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery for Patagonian Toothfish can be found at http://www.afma.gov.au/managing-our-fisheries/fisheries-a-to-z-index/antarctic-fisheries/