Volume 6, Issue 5, 12 March 2009 [see previous editions]
The Rudd Government has announced members of the new AFMA Commission.
The Hon. Michael Egan has been appointed as the new AFMA Commission Chairman. Mr Egan is a company director, Chancellor of Macquarie University, Chairman of the Australia Day Council of NSW and Chairman of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine. He was previously Treasurer of New South Wales, Minister for State Development and Leader of the Government in the NSW Legislative Council.
Mr Glenn Hurry, AFMA’s previous Managing Director and interim CEO, has been appointed as CEO and as a commissioner.
Previous interim commissioners Ian Cartwright, Denise North, Professor Keith Sainsbury and Richard Stevens OAM, have been appointed as commissioners.
New Commission appointments include Dr John Glaister, Jennifer Goddard and Elizabeth Montano.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, said the commissioners would play an important role in overseeing the management of fisheries resources in Commonwealth waters.
The full announcement and details about each commissioner is available from the Minister’s website.
AFMA would also like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning commissioners. We look forward to the challenges ahead during their five year term of appointment.
The staff of AFMA would also like to thank the outgoing Chair, the Hon. Tony Rundle, for his commitment and work over the past five years. Mr Rundle was farewelled at the final meeting of the interim Commission on 26 - 27 February 2009. Mr Rundle expressed his high regard for all AFMA staff and said that chairing AFMA had been a great experience.
A Management Plan for the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (TSPF) is now in effect, giving fishers greater certainty with ongoing, transferable access rights.
The Plan provides an overarching strategy for the fishery, formalising management arrangements and providing greater certainty for industry. In addition, through the development of a harvest strategy, clear and structured guidelines will be put into place for setting the Total Allowable Effort (TAE) for the fishery, including reference points and decision rules to ensure the sustainable utilisation of the fishery.
The Plan introduces two new key management arrangements into the fishery:
A copy of the Plan and answers to frequently asked questions is available on the PZJA website or contact Lisa Cocking on (02) 6225 5451.
AFMA has updated its website pages with useful information about Marine Bioregional Planning.
The new format will help industry and other stakeholders stay informed about the Marine Bioregional Planning processes carried out by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), and importantly, how they affect the management of Commonwealth Fisheries.
New information on our website includes:
The establishment of Marine Bioregional Plans for Australia’s key marine regions is the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA). Progress of the Marine Bioregional Planning process can be viewed on the DEWHA website.
AFMA is inviting comment on its Draft Management Plan and Draft Strategic Assessment for the Small Pelagic Fishery.
AFMA has developed a Draft plan of management for the fishery under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, and a draft Strategic Assessment report to meet assessment requirements under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Copies of the draft Management Plan and draft Strategic Assessment report are being provided to all SPF concession holders, and are also available on AFMA’s website.
Comments on the plan and report should be sent to:
Alternatively, fax (02) 6225 5500 or email email@example.com.
The comment period will close on 17 April 2009.
AFMA’s levy collection process for the 2008/09 financial year is now well underway.
Concession holders are reminded that levies for the following fisheries are now due and payable:
If you are unable to make a payment by your fishery’s specific instalment date, you may enter into an arrangement to pay your overdue levv. If you wish to enter into an arrangement to pay, please contact Licensing on AFMA Direct, 1300 723 621.
During February 2009, an AFMA concession holder and skipper were fined for exceeding bycatch limits in place for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, and for failing to declare catch.
Both were found guilty of exceeding the 250kg trip catch limit for striped trumpeter, and for failing to declare around 2.5 tonnes of scalefish while fishing between May and November 2006.
The concession holder received fines of more than $20,000, and the skipper $12,000. In addition, proceeds of the sale of the striped trumpeter taken in excess of the catch limit, totalling over $11,000, were also ordered to be forfeited.
AFMA’s Senior Manager of Domestic Compliance, John Andersen, said the conviction reminds concession holders - and their skippers and crew - to ensure they fully understand and comply with the terms of their fishing concessions.
Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) and Torres Strait Prawn Fisheries
NPF Banana Prawn Season - The 2009 banana prawn season will commence on 7 April. New 2009 information booklets will be distributed to all Statutory Fishing Right (SFR) owners and holders within the next 10 days with all required information, including all Directions, for the 2009 banana season.
SFR owners and holders need to ensure that their skippers and crew are fully briefed and aware of all management arrangements for the fishery, including all closures and gear requirements. For more information, please contact Mel Brown on (02) 6225 5465.
E-Log registrations - Fishers in the Northern Prawn and Torres Strait Fisheries who completed their registration forms have begun receiving login details for the GoFish portal on AFMA’s website to enable them to lodge fishing logs online. For more information about registering, please contact Anne Shepherd on (02) 6225 5361 or Narelle Williams on (02) 6225 5542.
Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF)
Levies due - Concession holders in the ETBF please note that levies for the 2008/09 fishing season are now due.
Coral Sea Fishery (CSF)
Annual stakeholder meeting - AFMA will hold its annual CSF stakeholder meeting in Canberra on 6 April to discuss relevant issues for the fishery. Contact Josh Davis on 02 6225 5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF)
SESSFRAG - The next SESSF Resource Assessment Group (SESSFRAG) meeting will be held on 20 March in Melbourne. Items to be discussed include data collection and priority species for 2010 stock assessments.
Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF)
Meeting on recommencement of the 2009 fishing season - AFMA will hold an industry meeting about the recommencement of commercial fishing in the BSCZSF in the 2009 season. The meeting will be held at 9am on 18 March 2009 at the Rydges Hotel (701 Swanston Street, Carlton), Melbourne.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for AFMA staff and the members of the Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC) to consult with BSCZSF concession holders prior to the 18th meeting of ScallopMAC, to allow ScallopMAC to be better informed about operator’s views when considering the management of the fishery for the 2009 season. For more information, please contact Ms Natalie Couchman on (02) 6225 5555.
Macquarie Island Toothfsih Fishery (MITF)
Longline trial - The Commission has endorsed the continuation of the longline trial in the MITF into 2009/10. The trial is to be subject to the same conditions and specific limits on seabirds as agreed for the 2008/09 trial. The Commission was pleased to note that no seabird mortalities have occurred during the trial.
MITF season date - The Commission has approved the change to the season start date in the MITF from 1 July to 15 April, with a commencement date of 15 April 2010. The change will be made through an amendment to the MITF Management Plan, with this process to begin immediately with the aim to have the amendment in place by 1 July 2009.