Australia’s dietary guidelines and the environmental impact of food “from paddock to plate”

Alexandra McManus
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11846
Published online: 7 October 2013

To the Editor: Selvey and Carey1 cite an article by Srinivasan and colleagues2 to support their claim that “Forty per cent of Australia’s managed fish stocks have been deemed overfished”. However, the data in that article were misquoted from the Australian Government’s Fishery status reports 2006, which actually stated that 14 of the 97 fish stocks reviewed were overfished3 — 14%, not 40%. More recent evidence from the 2012 review of 150 fish stocks showed that only two (1.3%) were at risk of overfishing, and plans were already in place for their effective recovery.4

  • Centre of Excellence for Science, Seafood and Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA.


Competing interests:

The Centre of Excellence for Science, Seafood and Health (CESSH) is an independent research centre that has several current projects funded through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre. The comments contained in this letter are independent of any of the bodies from which the CESSH has successfully gained research funding.

  • 1. Selvey LA, Carey MG. Australia’s dietary guidelines and the environmental impact of food “from paddock to plate”. Med J Aust 2013; 198: 18-19. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Srinivasan UT, Watson R, Sumaila UR. Global fisheries losses at the exclusive economic zone level, 1950 to present. Marine Policy 2012; 36: 544-549.
  • 3. Larcombe J, McLoughlin K, editors. Fishery status reports 2006: status of fish stocks managed by the Australian Government. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Bureau of Rural Sciences, 2007.
  • 4. Flood M, Stobutzki I, Andrews J, et al. Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2012. Canberra: Australian Government Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, 2012. http://www. (accessed Aug 2013).
  • 5. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian dietary guidelines incorporating the Australian guide to healthy eating: providing the scientific evidence for healthier Australian diets. Draft for public consultation. Canberra: NHMRC, 2011. guidelinesconsultation111212.pdf (accessed Aug 2013).


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.