Volume 6, Issue 18, 16 September 2009 [see previous editions]
AFMA's online business facility, GOFish, goes live on 21 September 2009, so register now to use the service.
Registration packs are available on AFMA's website.
GOFish will enable concession holders and their authorised agents to conduct most of their licensing business with AFMA online, and at a reduced cost.
It will have the added benefit of allowing concession holders to view their quota position, and to trade quota to other concession holders.
To use GOFish, you will need to complete the registration forms to receive your user ID and secure password via email.
Please also indicate if and where you would like to attend a information session on the use of the GOFish service, which AFMA intends to hold at a number of key ports.
For more information on GOFish registration or the information sessions, please contact AFMA Licensing on 1300 723 621.
Statutory fishing rights (SFRs) were formally granted by AFMA in August 2009 for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) under the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Plan 2005.
The relevant SFR certificates, boat permits and transfer forms have now been provided to all eligible operators.
The SFRs will come into effect on 1 November 2009. This will allow a period of time for operators to trade SFRs within the fishery as there has previously been no mechanism to allow trade. These interim effort arrangements will be in place for approximately 16 months under the current ETBF Management Plan until the fishery moves to quota management.
Under the current effort-based Management Plan, AFMA is required to determine a total allowable effort (TAE) for the fishery for the season commencing on 1 November 2009 until 28 February 2011 when the fishery will move to quota-based management arrangements.
The newly appointed Tropical Tuna MAC, at its first meeting on 27 August 2009, considered an appropriate total allowable effort (TAE) for the ETBF and the MAC’s recommendations are to be considered by the AFMA Commission out-of-session in September 2009.
AFMA expects to be able to notify ETBF SFR holders of the TAE decision in early October 2009, following the AFMA Commission’s decision.
For further information please contact Yvonne Zunic, A/g Manager, Eastern Tuna Fishery, AFMA on (02) 6225 5394.
Comments are invited on the Independent Allocation Advisory Panel’s (IAAP) Draft Report for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF).
The IAAP was appointed in early 2009 to provide advice to AFMA on the most appropriate method and formula for converting hook-based longline and minor line statutory fishing rights (SFRs) granted under the existing ETBF Management Plan into individual transferable catch quota (ITQ) for each of the 5 key species in the ETBF. These species are Albacore Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Broadbill Swordfish and Striped Marlin.
The AFMA Commission has agreed to release the draft report for a four-week public comment period, and AFMA has written to all ETBF stakeholders inviting their comments.
Comments on the draft report can be provided by Monday 28 September 2009 to:
or fax to: (02) 6225 5439
The draft report and contact information can be found on the AFMA website.
The AFMA Commission will consider the IAAP’s final report at its 30 October 2009 meeting in Mooloolaba following consideration of submissions received on the draft report.
The AFMA Commission has agreed to introduce individual transferable quotas (ITQs) in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF).
At its meeting on 21 August 2009, the Commission carefully considered a number of submissions received from the industry, the summary and recommendations from the Chair of the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Advisory Committee (NORMAC), and an industry-funded cost benefit analysis on implementing output controls in the fishery. In coming to the decision, the Commission also took into account AFMA’s legislative objectives and other information on the risks and issues surrounding the implementation of a quota management system.
The Commission agreed to:
“implement output controls in the NPF through an ITQ system for both the Banana (with an east and west zone) and Tiger Prawn fisheries, subject to amendment of the management plan in accordance with the provisions of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.”
AFMA will work closely with the NPF industry to develop the operational details of the quota system for the fishery. It is expected that the first draft management plan will be available for consideration by NORMAC in June 2010.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) is holding multi-sectoral information sessions on the progress of Bioregional Planning in the North and North-west Marine Regions.
The sessions will bring all key stakeholder groups up to date on DEWHA's progress on research undertaken in these regions. DEWHA will be showcasing the areas within the North and North-west that have been identified for further assessment.
Following this, DEWHA will commence individual meetings with stakeholders to discuss the areas in more detail, and address their individual needs.
The Darwin meeting will focus on the North Bioregion, with some discussion on the North-west. Western Australian meetings will focus on the North-west Bioregion, with some discussion on the North.
Times and venues are:
For Darwin session, please contact Tania Hoban on email@example.com
For Western Australian sessions, please contact Anna-lee Stravens on (08) 9383 7924.
For more information on AFMA’s involvement in Marine Bioregional Planning, please contact Paul Ryan on (02) 6225 5366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AFMA Commission has approved a stock rebuilding strategy for Blue Warehou in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), the rebuilding strategy has also been given final approval by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
According to Bureau of Rural Science (BRS) fishery status reports, over recent years the status of Blue Warehou has varied between ‘not subject to overfishing’ and ‘uncertain’ in the fishery.
AFMA is required to develop a rebuilding strategy as a condition the SESSF’s Wildlife Trade Operation accreditation, and as part of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy to rebuild stocks below their limit reference point.
The rebuilding strategy includes:
A copy of the Blue Warehou Stock Rebuilding Strategy is available on AFMA’s website.
For more information, please contact Steve Auld on email@example.com or (02) 6272 5306.
Since their inception in 1992, annual Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) Fisheries Status Reports have shown an increasing number of fish stocks classified as ‘uncertain’.
Uncertain stocks are those where there is not enough information to determine whether the stock is overfished or whether overfishing is occurring.
In 2008, the Commonwealth Government committed to undertaking research and developing systems to reduce the number of uncertain stocks, which currently amount to about one-third of the stocks classified by Fisheries Status Reports.
The Reducing Uncertainty in Stock Status (RUSS) project is designed to provide an enduring legacy of datasets, tools, and assessment methods that will improve the assessment and management of Commonwealth fisheries. It is lead by BRS in collaboration with CSIRO.
RUSS consists of three work streams:
Please contact James Larcombe at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about the RUSS project.
AFMA has started a pilot study of e-Monitoring on ten boats in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF), with installation of the systems expected to be completed by mid-October 2009.
The aim of the e-monitoring project is to objectively measure the worth and effectiveness of e-Monitoring over a number of areas that are currently considered to be observer functions.The field component of the project will extend over 10 months, with a further 6 month reporting and evaluation period.
Over the same period, two single vessel, small scale trials are planned in the Northern Prawn and the Pilbara Trawl Fisheries. The focus in these trials will be protected species interaction and catch handling/retention, with the ultimate aim of being a possible cost-effective alternative to high level observer coverage.
There is a lot of interest in the potential of e-Monitoring in Australian fisheries as a cost-effective monitoring option to complement logbooks, observers and other management needs. The Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA) has nominated Mike O’Brien as their member with a special interest in e-Monitoring and other technologies. AFMA has worked closely with the CFA and other industry workshop participants in developing and promoting the pilot program and the previous proof of concept trials that have been undertaken in a number of fisheries.
Following the pilot study in the ETBF, there will be an examination of what service provider model might best allow these technologies to become a regular part of cost effective monitoring for a number of sectors within Commonwealth fisheries.
Further information on e-Monitoring and developments over the course of the pilot project will be made available through AFMA Update and via the AFMA website. For information on the project, contact Matt Piasente on (02) 6225 5587 or Matt.Piasente@afma.gov.au. If you require further technical information, please contact Bob Stanley, Technical Manager On Boat Information Systems (02) 6225 5416 or Bob.Stanley@afma.gov.au.
The AFMA Commission has endorsed the following AFMA research funding proposals for 2010:
Annual Industry Scientific Management Consultation meeting
For further information, please contact Peter Neave on (02) 6225 5302 or email@example.com.
2008 Macquarie Island TAC caught
For further information, please contact Peter Neave on (02) 6225 5302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BASS STRAIT CENTRAL ZONE SCALLOP FISHERY (BSCZSF)
Potential changes to allowable area for scallops
AFMA will be holding a ScallopMAC/RAG meeting in late September to discuss this issue. To assist in this process, fishers are reminded to send in their logbooks as soon as practicable following a fishing trip. AFMA will keep fishers informed of the outcomes of its considerations on this issue.
If you would like to discuss this issue further, please contact Shane Gaddes (BSCZSF Manager) at email@example.com or Natalie Couchman (BSCZSF Senior Management Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (02) 6225 5555.
EASTERN TUNA AND BILLFISH FISHERY (ETBF)
Changes to Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) zones
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN SCALEFISH AND SHARK FISHERY (SESSF)
Upper-slope dogfish management strategy
A redrafted version of the strategy will be circulated to the South East Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC) for consideration out of session, and will also be discussed at the SEMAC meeting on 23 - 24 September. This strategy will be provided to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) for consideration during the threatened species listing process for Harrisson’s, Southern and Endeavour Dogfish. For further information please contact Shane Gaddes on (02) 6225 5315 or email@example.com.
- Great Australian Bight Trawl Fishery (GABTF)
First Resource Assessment Group (RAG) meeting
- Gillnet, Hook and Trap Fishery (GHATF)
Upcoming Shark Resource Assessment Group (SharkRAG) meeting
SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA FISHERY (SBTF)
CCSBT Extended Scientific Committee
SMALL PELAGIC FISHERY (SPF)
SPF Management Advisory Committee (SPFMAC)
New Executive Officer (EO) to the SPFMAC and RAG
TORRES STRAIT FISHERIES
Meeting with Papua New Guinea
Torres Strait administrative review
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