SBT has supported a valuable domestic fishery in Australia for many decades. The recent expansion in recreational SBT catches raises the need to monitor and manage recreational fishing activities; to secure investments by anglers and charter boat businesses and ensure that harvesting is consistent with the SBT rebuilding strategy.
Detailed information on catch levels, the geographical and seasonal distribution of fishing activities and the sector’s characteristics is fundamental to managing recreational fishing activities. State and Commonwealth governments are in the process of developing resource-sharing arrangements for SBT. Information collected by the project will be crucial in developing management options and resource sharing arrangements.
The development and application of an agreed methodology for obtaining regular, statistically robust estimates of recreational and charter fishing catch of SBT is also a Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO) condition for the SBT fishery, and Australia has an obligation to report all SBT catches to the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).