4680.0.55.001 - Information Paper: An Experimental Ecosystem Account for the Great Barrier Reef Region, 2015 Quality Declaration 
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SECTION 2 FISHING AND AQUACULTURE


FISHING AND AQUACULTURE

This section describes commercial, charter and harvest fishing, as well as aquaculture in the GBR Region. Note that while there is some data available on recreational fishing in the GBR Region, it is not included in this publication.

Commercial and harvest fishing within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is part of the East Coast Fishery area in Queensland. Fishing methods used include line, net, pot, otter trawl and beam trawl, along with various harvest methods. Species targeted in the area include Spanish mackerel, coral trout, sharks, crabs, scallops, bugs, barramundi, sea cucumber and aquarium fish.

The contribution of the ecosystem to the value of fishing and aquaculture production was derived by calculating resource rent for both industries using a national accounting framework. Resource rent was calculated from standard System of National Account (SNA) measures of gross operating surplus by deducting specific subsidies, adding back specific taxes, and deducting the user costs of produced assets (which are composed of consumption of fixed capital and the return to produced assets). It is composed of depletion and the net return to environmental assets. This method isolates the input of the GBR ecosystem for the period 2000-01 to 2012-13.


FISHING

Table 2.1 below provides a summary of fishing production in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area from 2000-01 to 2013-14. The physical ecosystem service, or weight of production, does not include numerous harvest fishery species and consequently an average value per kilogram of production is not able to be derived for different species from this data.

Note that during the rezoning of the Marine Park in 2004 a number of commercial fishing licences across all fisheries were bought out by the Commonwealth government. A quota was introduced in July 2003 which reduced the total allowable catch for coral reef finfish species caught through the line fishing, and a Spanish mackerel quota for line fishers was introduced in July 2004, which also reduced the total allowable catch.

TABLE 2.1: FISHING PRODUCTION, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, 2001-02 to 2013-14, Selected Indicators

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
Selected Indicators

Physical ecosystem service:
provision of wild animals and their products (tonnes)
15 341
15 766
15 462
11 226
10 404
10 099
9 988
11 029
10 485
9 453
8 167
8 825
9 858
Gross Value of Production (GVP, $ million)
190.0
195.2
180.3
134.6
127.8
119.5
119.8
128.3
126.6
113.4
100.5
109.4
115.1
Ecosystem service value:
contribution of ecocsystem to benefit (GVP, $ million)
64.9
44.1
44.0
33.5
25.0
24.9
22.5
22.9
15.9
13.8
12.0
11.7
na
Commercial fishing licenses (number)
2 016
1 988
1 877
1 583
1 386
1 302
1 338
1 319
1 274
1 166
1 129
1 092
1 057
Fishing effort (person days)
142 480
146 838
138 570
107 600
95 347
88 014
86 483
86 595
88 043
81 880
77 870
76 128
76 364
GVP per person day effort (dollars)
1 333
1 329
1 301
1 251
1 341
1 358
1 386
1 482
1 438
1 384
1 291
1 437
1 508

na - not available
GVP - Gross Value of Production; GVP is expressed in current ('landed') prices
SOURCE: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)


Table 2.1 above shows that the value of fishing production decreased by 39 per cent from $190 million to $115.1 million over the period, 2001-02 to 2013-14, while physical production dropped 36 per cent from 15,341 tonnes to 9,858 tonnes. The number of licenses decreased by 48 per cent in the same period, and fishing effort by 46 per cent. The value of production per person day of fishing effort increased steadily throughout the time series, increasing by 13 per cent from $1,333 in 2001-02 to $1,508 in 2013-14.

The effects of license buy-outs and quota implementations contributed to a decrease in the production value of $45.7 million (or 25 per cent) between 2003-04 and 2004-05. A similar change occurred between both years in physical production (a fall of 27 per cent), the number of licenses (a fall of 16 per cent) and fishing effort in person days (a fall of 22 per cent) although the value of production relative to fishing effort was only slightly affected. The ecosystem service contribution to the value of production decreased from $33.5 million to $25.0 million (or a fall of 20 per cent) in the same period.

TABLE 2.2: FISHING PRODUCTION, BY NRM REGION, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, 2001-02 to 2013-14, Weight (tonnes)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
NRM Region

Burdekin
3 089
3 570
3 070
2 063
1 638
1 398
1 636
2 008
1 817
1 325
1 123
1 291
1 546
Burnett Mary
1 630
1 775
1 676
1 523
1 256
1 519
1 535
1 512
1 735
1 243
1 052
1 334
1 355
Cape York
3 278
3 020
3 289
2 425
2 617
2 131
1 756
1 975
1 998
1 917
1 658
1 589
1 472
Fitzroy
3 738
3 509
3 541
2 462
2 391
2 453
2 607
2 555
2 515
2 780
2 170
2 390
2 505
Mackay Whitsunday
1 781
1 870
1 681
1 236
967
1 248
1 038
1 129
1 004
893
840
1 012
913
Wet Tropics
1 716
1 934
2 110
1 427
1 450
1 298
1 352
1 759
1 344
1 234
1 271
1 132
1 123
Total GBR Region
15 341
15 766
15 462
11 226
10 404
10 099
9 988
11 029
10 485
9 453
8 167
8 825
9 858

Note: Total of NRM Regions does not match Total GBR Region due to data suppression for confidentiality.
Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)


Table 2.2 above presents the physical production of all NRM Regions in tonnes for the period 2001-02 to 2013-14. The table shows production in all regions decreased over this period, although there is significant variance in production by weight across these regions. Fishing production in the Cape York NRM Region recorded the largest decrease, from 3,278 tonnes to 1,472 tonnes (-55 per cent). Production remained stable in the Burnett Mary NRM Region through re-zoning in 2004-05, although there was a significant decrease of 18 per cent in production the following year, before returning to trend levels in 2006-07.

Figure 2.1 below shows changes in physical production over the reference period using data at a smaller geographic area. Most areas have recorded decreases in physical production over the time period, which includes the re-zoning and changes in quota as described above. A cluster of four cells near the offshore boundary in the Fitzroy and Burnett Mary Marine Regions and inshore cells of Fitzroy Region are the only notable areas of increase in physical production. Clear cells are those without sufficient numbers of operating licenses to generate change data.

FIGURE 2.1: CHANGE IN PHYSICAL FISHERY PRODUCTION IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK, 2000-01 to 2012-13, Change in Weight (coefficients)

Figure 2.1: Change in Physical Fishery Production in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 2000-01 to 2012-13, Change in Weight (coefficients)
Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)


Table 2.3 below presents fishing data for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Management Sector. This table shows another view of the spatial distribution of fishing production in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The vast majority of fishery production in the northern half of the Marine Park comes from the inshore area (between 76 and 90 per cent during the reference period), while the southern half of the Marine Park has much more balanced production, between inshore and offshore areas.

In total, the more densely populated southern half of the accounting area sees far more fishing production than in the northern half. The southern area of the Marine Park increased its share of total fishery production within the park from 67 to 78 per cent between 2001-02 and 2013-14. Each sector recorded a decrease in the production of fish over the reference period, with the largest change in the Southern Offshore Sector (54 per cent).

TABLE 2.3: FISHING PRODUCTION, BY GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK AUTHORITY MANAGEMENT SECTOR, 2001-02 to 2013-14, Weight (tonnes)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
GBRMPA Management Sector

Northern Inshore
2 869
2 643
2 821
2 170
2 355
1 858
1 419
1 832
1 813
1 935
1 480
1 298
1 331
Northern Offshore
589
480
460
297
329
310
382
344
411
215
287
410
311
Southern Inshore
4 649
5 120
5 084
4 012
3 045
3 194
3 387
3 966
3 586
3 227
2 671
3 045
3 005
Southern Offshore
5 788
5 941
4 795
3 064
3 051
3 052
2 987
3 009
3 182
2 410
2 072
2 615
2 683
Total GBR Region
15 341
15 766
15 462
11 226
10 404
10 099
9 988
11 029
10 485
9 453
8 167
8 825
9 858

Note: Total of NRM Regions does not match Total GBR Region due to data suppression for confidentiality
Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)


AQUACULTURE

Aquacultural production in Australia is worth one billion dollars annually and has risen approximately 10 per cent in the ten years to 2012-13 (ABARES Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics, 2013). Tasmania is the largest aquacultural producing state or territory in the country, followed by South Australia, with Queensland ranking third in 2012-13. Species produced in Queensland include various prawns, perch, bass, barramundi and crayfish.

TABLE 2.4: AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, 2001-02 to 2013-14, Selected Indicators

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
Selected Indicators

Physical ecosystem service:
provision of wild animals and their products (tonnes)
2 707
3 575
3 768
3 957
4 118
4 349
4 500
4 271
5 899
5 493
5 056
5 064
5 234
Gross Value of Production (GVP, $ million)
35.6
38.1
46.9
48.8
49.0
49.9
49.4
58.9
50.5
62.8
62.0
61.5
72.4
Unit price: dollars per kilogram of production
13.14
10.67
12.46
12.34
11.89
11.46
10.97
13.80
8.56
11.44
12.27
12.14
13.83
Ecosystem service value:
contribution of ecosystem to benefit (GVP, $ million)
4.7
5.9
5.6
6.4
6.4
7.9
7.6
10.8
5.9
5.8
6.1
7.2
na

na - not available
GVP - Gross Value of Production; GVP is expressed in current ('landed') prices
Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)


Data on aquaculture production are only available for the total GBR Region. Production almost doubled over the period 2001-02 to 2013-14. It increased both in value (103 per cent) and tonnage (93 per cent), resulting in a small increase of 5 per cent in the value per kilogram across the accounting period.