The inaugural SAFS reports (2012) demonstrated the value and potential impact of national reporting by providing an easy to access, consistent national picture of wild-capture fish stock sustainability. The SAFS reports 2014 continued this progress by maintaining consistency and reporting an increased number of species.
The reports now classify the status of 68 species, consisting of 238 fish stocks across Australian jurisdictions, covering over 90% of the commercial gross value of production and catch by volume. The SAFS reports are key, scientific evidence that contributes to demonstrating the sustainability credentials of Australian fisheries. The production of these reports supports the AFMF national goals, of ‘Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industries are managed, and acknowledged, to be ecologically sustainable’.
The SAFS project in 2014 also addressed strategic issues relating to national reporting; including discussions on how to report against broader ecologically sustainable development (ESD) objectives and improvements to the SAFS classification system. This work resulted in improvements to the SAFS classification system that the Advisory Group endorsed, and close links between SAFS and projects intended to progress the production of companion reports addressing additional aspects of fishery ESD.
The current (base funding) application is to produce the SAFS reports in 2016. To ensure the continuation of SAFS beyond 2020 it is essential for jurisdictions to develop ownership of the reports and to embed SAFS processes in core business, and for efficiencies in production and report management (such as an online production and data management portal) to continue to progress. Some jurisdictions have already adopted aspects of the agreed national reporting framework, which will support improved alignment between jurisdictional reporting and simplify production of future SAFS reports. SAFS 2016 will continue these biennial stock status reports, and further progress streamlining SAFS to a national business-as-usual reporting process.