The Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries NSW undertakes and facilitates research on aquatic animals and plants, and their habitats and ecosystems to ensure management receive the best scientific advice to make informed decisions. All projects that conduct research on animals meet Animal Care and Ethics guidelines.
Priority fisheries research programs
The Fisheries Research Strategic plan (PDF 7.8 MB) identifies seven priority programs:
Threats to fishery resources
Human activities are a threat to the diversity and abundance of aquatic animals and plants, and the habitats and ecosystems they live in. Fisheries scientists are currently working on estimating overall mortalities from fishing and effects of changes in freshwater flow in rivers.
A sustainable fishery is where the fish population does not decline over time because of fishing practices. This is achieved by an integrated approach in which fisheries based information is used to evaluate health of our fish stocks. The results are published annually in a summary report. The most recent publications are:
Status of fisheries resources in NSW
- Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2014-15
- Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2013-14
- Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2012-13 Summary (PDF 581 KB)
- Status of fisheries resources in NSW 2011-12 Summary (PDF 544 KB)
Monitoring and assessment of the impact of management changes under the Mulloway recovery program
Mulloway have been classified as Overfished in NSW since 2004/05 and a Recovery Program (RP) to assist the stock to rebuild was implemented on the 1st November, 2013. The goal of the mulloway recovery program was therefore to increase the spawning stock size of mulloway by reducing fishing mortality on both the adult and juvenile parts of the stock. The information presented in this report summarizes these monitoring and program assessments after nearly three years of the recovery program being in place.
Monitoring changes in aquatic ecosystems is essential to determine if they are improving, degrading or staying the same. Fisheries Research assesses the health of both marine and freshwater ecosystems, which includes an understanding of their capacity to change.
Aquatic biodiversity research looks at the variability within and among aquatic animals, plants, habitats and ecosystems. Research in this area includes mapping of species and habitats, and issues related to pests, diseases and threatened species.
Seafood demand is not being met from wild harvest catch. Aquaculture provides a means to fill this gap. Aquaculture research objectives are described in the Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee RD&E plan and focus on the sustainable production of molluscs, fish and aquaculture nutrition.
Artificial structures are placed on the seabed to enable organisms to attach to them and form habitat for fish. Fish are bred to restock freshwater and marine environments. Both of these processes are known as fishery enhancement. Fisheries scientists are involved in understanding the potential of artificial structures and stocking in maintaining sustainable fisheries.
Many aquatic habitats have become degraded, causing declines in native fish populations. We are researching how to improve habitats for native fish and monitoring the effectiveness of rehabilitation actions.
Information on our fisheries research work is published in various scientific journals, reports and other publications. The Department has it's own publication known as the Fisheries Final Report Series which is used to publish some of our research findings. All of the Department's research findings since January 2000 are summarisied here.
Student conservation award
Post-graduate university students have an opportunity to apply for the John Holliday Student Conservation Award to assist with their research studies associated with topics of interest to the Department.
Our major research sites
Port Stephens Fisheries Institute undertakes all areas of fisheries research and is a production hatchery for a number of native fish and molluscs.
Narrandera Fisheries Centre is an inland freshwater fisheries research centre and a production hatchery for a number of native fish.
Please refer to the scientist's contact page for information relating to Fisheries Scientists.
General Information Email: firstname.lastname@example.org