Harvest Strategies

What is a Harvest Strategy?

The department is partnering with commercial, recreational and Aboriginal cultural fisheries across NSW to develop tailored harvest strategies.

Harvest strategies are used all over the world and have been adopted in most Australian fisheries jurisdictions to improve fisheries management and the outcomes for fish species and fisheries. A harvest strategy brings together the key scientific monitoring, assessment and management measures used to make decisions to achieve defined objectives, including those related to the intensity of fishing activity to be applied to a species or catch to be removed from a fishery.

In simple terms, a harvest strategy provides a decision making framework to ensure that fishery managers, fishers and other key stakeholders consider and document the responses to various fishery conditions (desirable and undesirable) before they occur. This promotes transparent, proactive and decisive management that avoids ad hoc, reactionary or delayed decisions.

A harvest strategy is a transparent and consistent decision-making framework that specifies the pre-determined management actions necessary to achieve the agreed ecological, economic and/or social and cultural management objectives.

A harvest strategy can be developed at the species or fishery level to bring together commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishing in an integrated fishery or stock management approach.

How will NSW benefit from harvest strategies?

Harvest strategies are a best-practice approach to fisheries management decision making, and an effective way to balance the ecological, social and economic outcomes of fisheries management across all sectors into a single framework for better decision making.

They provide increased certainty to all stakeholders about how a fishery will be managed over time. This allows planning for the future and reduces the likelihood of uncertainties and changes that will impact on the profitability and sustainability of the fishery.
A harvest strategy provides certainty and transparency for all fishery stakeholders, particularly about how decisions are made in fisheries management.

Creating improved certainty and transparency has benefits for a fishery:

  • It contributes to creating a climate of trust between fishery stakeholders
  • It reduces tensions between stakeholder groups
  • It allows fishery managers and fishers to operate with greater confidence and efficiency
  • It allows for greater business planning by commercial fishers as the fishery management responses to various levels of fishery performance are documented and more predictable.

A well-constructed harvest strategy allows for more efficient and proactive decision
making even with the uncertainties that are inherent to fisheries management.

Harvest strategies are a key deliverable under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018–2028 and under the department's Stronger Primary Industries Strategy 2022–2030.

For further information please read our brochure on Fisheries Harvest Strategies in NSW (PDF, 1137.33 KB).