State and trends of species and taxa groups

This assessment summary has changed it's name since 2011

 

Component
Summary
Grade
Very poor Poor Good Very good
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Sharks and rays

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • It was not clear why some species were identified singly and others were not. To maintain consistency across assessments single species categories were removed and where relevant specific case studies on each included in the 2016 report. Further, in regards to the shark assessments available data would have resulted in the same grade and trend being assigned to each, so it was regarded as not sensible to divide off two of the species.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

 

Status and trends are largely unknown and assumed to be good, but likely to vary between species and regions. The Temperate East, South-east, South-west marine regions are in poorer condition than the national state.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Sharks and rays

East, south-east and south-west in poor condition for some species (e.g. east coast population of grey nurse sharks)

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Whale sharks

South-west in very poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Great white sharks

Condition continues to decline in the east

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Tuna and Billfish

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • It was not clear why some species were identified singly and others were not. To maintain consistency across assessments single species categories were removed and where relevant specific case studies on each included in the 2016 report

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Individual species have differing status and trends, with most formally assessed as in good condition. However, some are overfished at the regional level. Status is calculated at regional fisheries management scales rather than national or bioregional scales.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Tuna and billfish

Condition very poor in the south-west and continuing to decline

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Southern bluefin tuna

Condition very poor and stable

Year(s): 
2011
1
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Shelf (0–250 m)—demersal and benthopelagic fish species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The depth categorisation has been revised to reflect species composition change points.Titles have been standardised across the two assessments. 

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Although most populations are improving, there are persistent, substantial effects on some populations

Year(s): 
2016
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Outer shelf (>50 m)—demersal and benthopelagic fish species

Condition improving in all regions except the north-west, where the condition is generally stable but the worst areas continue to decline

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Inner shelf —demersal fish species

South-east in good condition and improving

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Slope (> 250 m)—demersal and benthopelagic fish species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The depth categorisation has been revised to reflect species composition change points. Titles have been standardised across the two assessments.assessments

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

 

The South-east Marine Region is in poorer condition than the other regions

Year(s): 
2016
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Only south-east was assessed

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Epipelagic fish species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • Assessment title has been revised to maintain consistency in the use of ocean zone terms (epipelagic, mesopelagic, benthopelagic)

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

 

Assessments are restricted to the Temperate East, South-east and South-west marine regions. Fishing pressure has lessened and biomass information is improving.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

South-east and south-west were assessed, with condition improving in the south-west

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Data from only the South-east Marine Region were assessed.

Year(s): 
2016
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Only east and south-east were assessed

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Inner shelf (0–25 m)—reef fish species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The depth range in the title of the assessment has been defined to maintain consistency in use across assessments.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Trend data are lacking for the North and North-west marine regions. Other regions have experienced continued worsening.

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

South-west, east and south-east were assessed, and are all in poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Inner shelf (0–25 m)—invertebrate species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The depth range in the title of the assessment has been defined to maintain consistency in use across assessments.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

State and trends are likely to be regionally variable, but time-series data are lacking for most of Australia. Some localised improvements are likely, but some areas are worsening because of extreme climate events and climate change−induced range expansions.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

East and south-east in poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Outer shelf (25–250 m)—invertebrate species

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The depth range in the title of the assessment has been defined to maintain consistency in use across assessments.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Temporal data and historical baselines to determine status and trend are limited. Trawling effort pressures are decreasing in the long term, but pressures associated with climate change are increasing.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

South-east in poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Seabirds


This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The assessment title has been revised to reflect that some seabird species can be resident during components of the year/their life cycle and migratory during other components the year/their life cycle, thereby making it difficult to consistently divide species by the two categories.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Population status and trends for species are mixed, with some increasing, some decreasing, some stable and some unknown

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Seabirds—migratory

South-west in very poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Seabirds—resident

South-east in poor condition

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Population status and trends for species are mixed, with monitoring of populations varying—some populations are increasing, some decreasing and some are unknown. Few quantitative data are available for marine habitats and pressures on populations at sea.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

North and east in poor condition (greater understanding in east region)

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Status and trends are largely unknown, but likely to vary between species and bioregions. Species have almost disappeared from Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea—the reasons for which are unknown.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

East in very poor condition and declining

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Population status for most species is unknown because of a lack of data, but is assumed to be good. Trends are unclear.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Populations generally stable, although some are declining in the east and south-east

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Whales

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • To maintain consistency with the subsection header (species groups) and consistency across assessments only species groups were assessed in 2016. Where relevant single species accounts have been provided in greater detail in individual case studies.port

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Population status and trends for many species are unknown. Most are assumed to be in good condition but trends are unclear. Humpback whales and the western population of southern right whales are demonstrating clear increasing trends.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Baleen whales (not including humpbacks)

Condition and trends are poorly understood for some species, but recovery occurring generally

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Humpback whales

Condition in the east and south-east remains very poor and stable

Year(s): 
2011
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Toothed whales

Condition and trends are poorly understood

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Fur seals and sea lions

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • To maintain consistency with the subsection header (species groups) and consistency across assessments only species groups were assessed in 2016. Where relevant single species accounts have been provided in greater detail in individual case studies.eport

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

 

Fur seal populations are considered to be in good condition, although trends for Australian fur seals are unclear. Australian sea lion populations in South Australia are deteriorating, while trends for populations in Western Australia are unclear.

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Fur seals

Assessed only in the south-west and east

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Australian sea lions

Assessed in the south-west

Year(s): 
2011
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Evans K, Bax NJ, Smith DC (2016). Marine environment: State and trends of species and taxa groups . In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary/marine-environment/state-and-trends-species-and-taxa-groups, DOI 10.4226/94/58b657ea7c296