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Australian Herring

Australian Herring

Latin names: Arripis georgianus

Common Names: Tommy Ruff

Wild Caught - Australia

Australian Herring location

Region Caught:

  • SA Marine Scalefish Fishery (175t 2013)
  • WA Cockburn Sound (Fish Net) Managed Fishery and West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery; South Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Finfish Fisheries (163t 2012)

Australian herring is a species of fish endemic to southern Australian waters. There is one stock of Australian herring that breeds in Western Australia, migrates east and then returns to WA waters again to reproduce. The catch of fish in WA used to be predominantly adult fish, whereas the catch in SA is of juvenile fish.

Catch rates are used in fisheries science to assess whether there are changes to stock status over time. Catch rates for Australian herring have declined significantly in WA since the 1990’s, and the catch of herring is now mainly of younger fish rather than adult Australian herring. This suggests that the larger fish have been removed from the population due to high fishing pressure. SA catches juvenile fish from the same stock of Australian herring as the WA fishery, and fisheries reports indicate catch rates have also declined in the SA fishery. The stock status of Australian herring in WA fishery reports is defined as 'Unacceptable', and there are clear indications that fishing pressure has depleted mature fish to a point where the future health of the stock is uncertain.

Fishery managers are currently developing measures to protect the Australian herring population. Australian herring is a fast growing species that is quick to mature and produces a high number of offspring. These biological characteristics mean that the populations should rebuild quickly if management can be improved to limit the amount of fish that can be caught.

Australian herring are caught in haul and herring nets in coastal waters. These types of fishing methods have a low impact on threatened species and habitats. 

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Australian Herring classification

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