Volume 6, Issue 24, 9 December 2009 [see previous editions]
A trial of electronic monitoring has commenced in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF).
Commercial fishers from the ETBF are working together with AFMA to test the system to assess if
Participating ETBF fisher from Mooloolaba, Gary Heilmann, said the trial is an excellent opportunity to assess the benefits of e-monitoring technologies and their uses in the fishery.
“The possible benefits to industry include reductions in overall management costs, critical for the long term economic sustainability of the fishing industry.
“Better quality and reliable data will also help provide a greater confidence that ecologically sustainable catches and fishing practices are being maintained,' he said.
The e-monitoring project is funded by AFMA and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation on behalf of the Australian Government.
For more information on the project, contact Matt Piasente on
For many years, people wanting to export Southern Bluefin Tuna have had to complete paperwork under the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) Trade Information Scheme (TIS). One of the problems of the TIS was that it did not track domestic landings so Japan's catch was not included.
From 1 January 2010, the SBT TIS will be replaced by the CCSBT’s new Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS), and the documents used in the TIS will no longer be recognised.
Unlike the TIS, the CDS will apply to all SBT domestically sold or exported, including those taken by Japan. Under the CDS, each fish - regardless of whether it is exported or not - will need to be tagged, weighed and measured, and have the correct accompanying documentation.
The new scheme will have impacts on fishers who catch SBT, people who sell SBT domestically, and those who export SBT.
AFMA has written to SBT statutory fishing right (SFR) holders and fish receivers explaining the new arrangements and will be releasing new forms and a detailed information booklet shortly.
If you are unsure of the implications for your business or if you require any further information, please contact Matt Daniel, Acting Manager Southern Bluefin Tuna, on email@example.com or (02) 6225 5338.
The 28th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was held from 26 October to 6 November 2009 in Hobart, Tasmania. Australia is one of 25 member countries which attended the meeting.
CCAMLR is responsible for the conservation and management of marine living resources (excluding whales and seals) in its Convention Area (Southern Ocean) and aims to balance conservation and rational use of these resources.
CCAMLR agreed to catch limits for the 2009/10 season for the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery which falls within the CCAMLR Convention Area. The catch limits were 2550 tonnes for Patagonian toothfish and 1658 tonnes for mackerel icefish, the two target species in the Fishery.
Other outcomes from the CCAMLR meeting included:
For further information, please contact Denis Snowdon on (02) 6225 5407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFMA is reviewing its Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) management arrangements with its Quota Management Policy Project.
The aim of the project is to develop a set of ‘best practise quota rules’ to underpin the use of ITQs in Commonwealth fisheries, and forms part of AFMA’s broader process of regulatory reform.
In consultation with industry and other interested stakeholders, AFMA will now develop quota management options consistent with these principles. Draft management options will be released for comment in early 2010, and AFMA is aiming to provide advice to the Commission on preferred options by June 2010.
For more information, please contact Selina Stoute, Manager Fisheries Policy, on (02) 6225 5304 or email@example.com.
AFMA, through its Bycatch and Discard Program, has conducted a number of Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) trials during the 2009 Tiger Prawn season in the Northern Prawn Fishery.
As is the nature of trialling, not all devices performed as expected, but preliminary data indicates that the Witch-Hat device (pictured) performed beyond expectations.
Reports for all trials will be available in March 2010.
AFMA would like to acknowledge NPF Industry Pty Ltd, the vessel owners A. Raptis & Sons, Austral Fisheries and Mr Ron Earle, and crews for their contributions to the trials.
For more information, please contact Mike Gerner, Senior Environment Officer, on (02) 6225 5379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFMA's new online service, GOFish, has been receiving a good response since the service was launched at the end of September 2009.
Training sessions with concession holders were held in key ports during October and November to demonstrate how to complete transactions online, and to answer any questions about the service.
During 2010, AFMA will look at adding more functionality to GOFish and reduce overall Licensing costs to Fishers by introducing a ‘user pays’ system.
Concession holders should note that the after hours support line for GOFish will be drawing to a close at the end of January 2010. The support service was in place to assist users during the transition period.
From 4 January 2010, AFMA will no longer be receiving GOFish support calls on weekends between 10am and 10pm. From Friday 29 January 2010, there will be no after hours support.
If you experience issues using or logging into the GOFish online system, industry can continue to contact AFMA Licensing on email@example.com or 1300 723 621, Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 5.00pm.
AFMA is pleased to report that the majority of concession holders are complying with their Integrated Computer Vessel Monitoring System (ICVMS) conditions and have approved and operational ICVMS on their vessels.
ICVMS continues to be a very important management tool and AFMA appreciates the level of cooperation shown by those complying with the conditions of their fishing concessions.
As a courtesy, AFMA wishes to remind concession holders that all vessels nominated to Commonwealth concessions must be either fitted with an approved and operational ICVMS or have entered into a temporary arrangement with AFMA to switch the unit off while in port for extended periods.
Operators with both Commonwealth and State concessions are further reminded that their ICVMS must be operating at all times, regardless of whether they are fishing in State or Commonwealth waters
Please be aware that while on a TSO arrangement, the vessel must not move from its mooring without approval from AFMA and an operational ICVMS. Concession holders who continue to disregard the conditions of their Commonwealth concessions are at risk of facing compliance action that could include having their concessions suspended.
CORAL SEA FISHERY (CSF)
Wildlife Trade Operation accreditation
For more information, please contact Josh Davis on (02) 6225 5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT TRAWL FISHERY (GABTF)
Great Australian Bight Resource Assessment Group (GABRAG)
SMALL PELAGIC FISHERY (SPF)
For more information, please contact Phil Domaschenz, Manager Small Pelagic Fishery, on (02) 6225 5410 or email@example.com.
Sub-Antarctic Resource Assessment Group (SARAG) and Sub-Antarctic Fisheries MAC (SouthMAC)
For more information, please contact Peter Neave, Manager Southern Fisheries, on (02) 6225 5302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TORRES STRAIT FISHERIES
Torres Strait Prawn Management Advisory Committee (TSPMAC)
Anyone seeking more information and/or wishing to attend the meeting as observers should contact Lisa Cocking, TSPMAC Executive Officer, on (02) 6225 5451 or email@example.com.
WESTERN TUNA AND BILLFISH FISHERY (WTBF)
For more information, please contact Yvonne Zunic on (02) 6225 5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.