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- The stock of eastern school whiting caught in the NSW fishery is healthy.
- Detailed mapping of the NSW habitat affected by trawling has recently been done, although it is unclear precisely where fishing activity is taking place, and therefore which habitats are most likely affected.
- While spatial closures and marine parks are in place in NSW, which should protect marine habitats to an extent, concerns around trawl damage to the seafloor remain.
- There is limited information on threatened species interactions. Interactions are likely, based on reports from other trawl fisheries operating in similar geographical areas.
- An independent study on bycatch has been undertaken, the results of which are not yet available.
- NSW Ocean Trawl Fishery (536t in 2015)
Stocks of NSW eastern school whiting are considered healthy by fisheries managers, but there are concerns that the fishing method could negatively impact the ocean environment.
Eastern school whiting are caught by fishing vessels using trawl gear in NSW. Detailed mapping of the NSW habitat affected by trawling has recently been undertaken, although it remains unclear precisely where fishing activity is taking place, and therefore which habitats are most likely affected. The fishing area includes sensitive marine habitats, such as rocky reefs with associated reef animals (for example, sponges and bryozoans, animals similar to corals). Spatial closures and marine parks are in place throughout NSW, providing some protection to marine habitats, however there are ongoing concerns around trawl damage to the seafloor. New trawl equipment currently being trialled by fishery managers in NSW has the potential to reduce the impact of fishing in the future.
There is limited information regarding threatened species interactions from the NSW fishery, although interactions are likely occurring based on reports from other trawl fisheries operating in similar geographical areas. The latest observer reported interaction figures are from 2007-08. Although an independent observer study of bycatch has been conducted, the results are not yet available to include in this assessment.