Australian Marine Environment and Fishing Facts

  • The Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) is the world’s third largest in the world, covering nearly nine million square kilometres.
  • The AFZ extends 200 nautical miles from the Australian coastline including our external territories, such as Christmas Island in the tropical Indian Ocean, and Heard and McDonald Islands in the Sub-Antarctic.
  • There have been over 6000 marine species recorded in Australian waters and our isolation has produced many which are endemic to Australia (only found here).
  • Commercial fishing is Australia’s fifth largest food production industry. It is worth more than $2 billion to our economy every year.
  • Australia is renowned world wide for its unpolluted waters and good fisheries management regimes that ensure the highest quality, sustainable seafood.
  • Australia has a number of high value fisheries such as Rock Lobster, Tuna, Abalone, Patagonian Toothfish and a variety of Prawn fisheries, which are highly sought after and generate valuable export dollars from a variety of overseas markets.
  • Australia has a vast coastline, and many of our major fisheries are in remote coastal locations. As a result, the commercial fishing industry provides a valuable source of employment and income in many rural communities.
Australias's Exclusive Economic Zones

Australias’s Exclusive Economic Zones (Wikimedia Commons)