Scientists correct misleading claims about Australian fish stocks

Scientists from CSIRO and the University of Washington have corrected misleading statements made by University of Tasmania researcher Graham Edgar and his team.

The journal article, by lead author Richard Little from CSIRO, Comments on the evidence for the recent claim on the state of Australian fish stocks, rejects the way in which survey data from shallow reef areas was used by Edgar et al. to claim that fish species occurring in deeper water had rapidly declined in the ten years to 2015.

AFMA welcomes the release of the Little et al. paper, and supports the comments made by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) that the paper points out clear deficiencies in the Edgar et al. work, correcting numerous analytical and factual errors.

AFMA encourages all those with an interest in understanding the scientific basis for the sustainable management of Commonwealth fisheries to read the Little et al. paper, Comments on the evidence for the recent claim on the state of Australian fish stocks.

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Australia’s marine fisheries are widely and justifiably recognised as among the best managed in the world. For the fifth year in a row, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has assessed all fisheries managed solely by AFMA as not subject to overfishing.

AFMA’s response to the Edgar et al. paper can be found at afma.gov.au.

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