Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) reports 2016 and beyond: Independent project audit

Project Number:



PJ Neville and Associates

Principal Investigator:

Peter Neville

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:




2016-143-DLD – An Audit of the Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) reports 2016 and beyond

Final Report
Author(s):Peter Neville
Date Published:June 2017

​The independent audit of the Status of Australian Fish Stock (SAFS) reports was commissioned by the FRDC to assess the adequacy and efficacy of the SAFS 2016 reports as a strategic reporting tool to satisfy the intended objectives of SAFS, firstly to establish a national common framework for stock status reporting to assist in, and report on, measuring fisheries management performance; and secondly to serve as a reference document to be accessed by a wide range of stakeholders to positively influence their opinions of the fishing industry.
In terms of the first objective, SAFS represents a significant advancement in measuring the performance of fisheries management by creating the first independent and scientifically based, common national framework for stock status reporting across all fisheries jurisdictions in Australia. SAFS has led to greater joint collaboration, as well as transfers of methodologies and processes, to deliver higher quality and more credible stock status reporting which can be accessed nationally and internationally; contributed to upgrading government and public reporting; and asisted in policy decisions regarding changes to particular fisheries management arrangements and in research priorities.
In terms of the second objective, the consensus is that it is unrealistic to expect SAFS, in the one form, to satisfy both objectives and that a different approach/product is needed to satisfy this second objective. It was recommended that a more targeted communication and extension strategy needs to be developed to satisfy the second objective.

Principal Investigator: Me Peter J. Neville
Key Words: Fisheries, Status of Australian Fish Stocks, SAFS, stock status reporting, stock assessments, audit


1. Conduct an review/audit of the SAFS Report according to the Terms of reference outlined in the Project Agreement

2. Submit a final report to the FRDC 30 April 2017