Queensland East Coast Spanish Mackerel Fishery
Environmental assessment under the EPBC Act
Department of the Environment and Water Resources, October 2007
ISBN 978 0 642 55441 3
About the assessment report
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) report that the ECSMF remains in a state of adjustment following the introduction of the Spanish mackerel Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) in early 2004 and the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) in July 2004. This period of adjustment has contributed to the quota not being met in the last two years.
An age-structured stock assessment model has been developed to assess the status of the fishery. The last published stock assessment to be completed for Spanish mackerel was in 2002, with a Management Strategy Evaluation updated in 2003. Those assessments concluded that the probability that the Spanish mackerel stock was overfished at the time was low. DPI&F report that the current stock assessment for the ECSMF indicates that, at 2001 levels of fishing effort, the fishery is sustainable.
The Spanish mackerel stock assessment, utilising commercial fisheries logbook data, age and length frequency data from long term monitoring program (LTMP) and recreational catch data, is currently underway. The assessment will be completed shortly, and the report is expected to be available in March 2008.