Our fishing future at a crossroads

Our lifestyle and livelihoods are connected to the health of our coasts and rivers.

Across northern Australia, our incredible environment is dominated by a monsoonal climate, with large volumes of water that seasonally sustain billabongs, estuaries, and are vital to the Top End’s sea life.

Poor river management has downstream effects on our marine life and can be devastating for recreational and commercial fishers.

Popular reef fish have seriously declined due to overfishing in key areas. Scientists have labelled golden snapper and black jewfish as being at risk of collapse - a reminder that the Territory is not immune from the problems experienced elsewhere, such as neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia which have lost 90% of their fish stocks.

The rapid expansion of high impact commercial fishing on habitat and marine life is also a great concern for the future of the Territory’s seas. Some trawl fisheries cause serious damage to the ocean floor and decrease the abundance and diversity of commercial and recreational fish species.

Territorians love to fish! Fishing in the Top End is amazing, but places like Darwin Harbour are not as good as they used to be, forcing fishers to travel further and further to get the same quality of catch.