The House of Representatives inquiry ‘Netting the benefits’ (November 2012) recommended that ‘the Australian Government continue to publish a consolidated stock report for all Australian fisheries with the consultation of State and Territory governments’. The Australian Government’s State of the Environment Report 2011 also identified that a ‘lack of a nationally integrated approach inhibits effective marine management’. In addition to the Australia’s domestic reporting responsibilities, national stock status reports are also required to inform the broader international community.
The inaugural SAFS reports (2012) demonstrated the value and impact of national reporting, providing an easy to access, consistent national picture of wild-capture fish stock sustainability. The SAFS reports 2014 would continue to provide consistent national comparisons, for an increased number of species.
To establish a strategic, longer-term plan and ensure the SAFS reports remain on-going it will be important to develop processes for self-sustainment. On-going support (personnel and funding) from all jurisdictions is critical to this. Some jurisdictions have already adopted aspects of the agreed national reporting framework, which will support improved alignment between jurisdictional reports and simplify production of future SAFS reports. The current proposal is critical to ensuring production of a high quality second edition. Throughout this project processes will be established for the self-sustainment of national fisheries status reporting.
There is also a need for national reporting on additional aspects of fisheries Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). This was highlighted in the House of Representatives inquiry (2012) which supported the inclusion of detailed ecosystem sustainability issues in future national reports.