Despite their importance to Australia, there is no comprehensive and nationally consistent system for measuring the condition of Australia's ocean and coastal ecosystems. As a result, this commentary relies upon two supplementary measures to provide some indication of whether the condition of Australia's marine ecosystems is getting better. These indicators show that:
The proportion of fish stocks that were overfished or subject to overfishing has increased from 10% in 1998 to 18% in 2008. However, 2005 had the highest proportion of fish stocks that were overfished or subject to overfishing (29%).
Australia's Commonwealth marine parks and protected areas covered 84.3 million hectares in 2007, an increase of 58% from 53.4 million hectares in 2000.
Australian fish stocks overfished and/or subject to overfishing