The Australia Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) stock rebuilding strategy for Blue Warehou (Seriolella brama) includes protection of spawning grounds (temporal and spatial closure).
The 2008 Bureau of Rural Science fishery status reports has classified the status of blue warehou stocks as overfished and overfishing as uncertain in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF). The 2008 Tier 1 stock assessment of the two stocks of blue warehou (eastern and western) indicates that the eastern stock is currently at 15% of the initial spawning biomass and the western stock is shown as being at 17% of initial spawning biomass, showing a decline in stocks over recent years. The 2008 Tier 1 stock assessment was rejected by the Slope Resource Assessment Group at its November meeting due to there being insufficient data collected on the blue warehou stocks for 2006 and 2007. Subsequently blue warehou was recommended to be assessed as a Tier 4 species, the results of this assessment being a Recommended Biological Catch of zero for both the eastern and western stocks.
Specific biomass target and limit reference points have not been determined for blue warehou stocks, therefore the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy states that in the absence of a determined biomass target or limit reference point, the proxies of 48% of unfished biomass is to be used as the ultimate target reference point, with 40% of unfished biomass as an initial target, and 20% of the unfished biomass is to be used as the limit reference point.
This stock rebuilding strategy is developed under the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy that requires formal rebuilding strategies for all species below their biomass limit reference point. The rebuilding strategy is created under the Australian Fisheries Management Authority's legislation and is designed to pursue the objectives of the Fisheries Management Act and be consistent with the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy. The development and implementation of this stock rebuilding strategy is also a condition of the SESSF Wildlife Trade Operation accreditation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
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