Aquarium fisheries on the Great Barrier Reef and in the vast and pristine Coral Sea are acknowledge as some the lowest impact sustainable fisheries anywhere in the world.
Australian aquarium supply fisheries are subject to a modern and comprehensive regulatory and management framework. All fisheries in Australia are managed by either state or federal government fisheries management agencies; and the science that underpins management is ongoing and subject to a continuous improvement model.
Fisheries are managed in accordance with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development and to ensure equitable access to marine resources for the three main fishing sectors: commercial; recreational; and indigenous.
Commercial fisheries are "limited entry", which means that catching fish for sale is effectively banned, but there are a limited number of licenses that enable people to undertake the activity. In this way, fishery managers know who and what they are managing. If somebody wants to enter a fishery they have to buy an existing license at a price that is determined by normal market forces i.e. supply and demand. Entry costs are generally substantial, which ensures that participants are heavily invested in the environment that supports the industry.
There are 125 commercial fisheries in Australia, around 20 of which