Commonwealth southern bluefin tuna catch limit set for 2018 season

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has agreed to setting Australia’s national catch allocation for southern bluefin tuna (SBT) at 6 165 tonnes for the 2018 season. As part of this decision, the Commission recognised that the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association has voluntarily agreed to set aside 250 tonnes of the 500 tonnes increase on Australia’s 2017 …

Members sought for Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC)

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on the Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC). We are seeking members for their next three year terms, commencing 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2021. Please contact Yvonne Zunic on (02) 6225 5432 or email Yvonne.Zunic@afma.gov.au if you require further information about the role of management advisory committees …

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Applications now open for Torres Strait fish receiver licences

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is calling for applications for Torres Strait fish receiver licences. As part of the new Fish Receiver System (FRS) all commercial fishers in the Torres Strait must land their catch to a licenced fish receiver, who in turn can only receive seafood from licenced commercial fishers. The fish receiver licences mandatory from 1 December …

Accurate logbook data essential for fisheries management

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is reminding concession holders and skippers of their responsibility to accurately complete their logbooks (paper or electronic). Logbooks are an important source of information for determining the status of fish stocks and making management decisions, including the setting of total allowable catches. Logbooks are a record of daily catch information that includes time, location, …

Giving Indigenous and recreational fishers more of a say

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation improving the capacity for recreational and Indigenous fishers to have greater input on the management of Commonwealth fisheries passed Parliament last week, fulfilling another key 2016 election commitment to the sector by the Turnbull Government. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the Government is …

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Seabird sessions

Australians heading to the beach for summer are likely familiar with coastal seabirds – gulls, terns, and for the lucky ones, perhaps a penguin sighting! Further offshore, recreational and commercial fishers might come across albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) Claire Wallis recently attended and presented at the Seabird Bycatch Working Group and the Advisory Committee …

SPF Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Meetings

The Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) Scientific Panel will meet on 16-17 November 2017 in Melbourne. Key items on the agenda are: Jack Mackerel DEPM survey results Annual assessment of SPF stocks to inform 2018-19 TAC setting process Proposed new fishing methods in the SPF (jigging and line methods) Research Priorities The Scientific Panel’s draft advice will be presented to the …

Diving into fisheries

At the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) we love to celebrate our new recruits! Neville Johnston has recently joined AFMA through the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP). Neville’s first rotation will be working in the Policy, Environment, Economics and Research team. Here’s what Neville had to say about what inspired him to apply for the program and commence working …

Torres Strait licence register now live

A register of licence holders for Torres Strait fisheries, with the exception of the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, is now publicly available on the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) website and can be viewed, downloaded and printed. The purpose of the register is to provide greater transparency for communities, commercial fishers and fish receivers in the Torres Strait. The Australian …

Vale George Raptis

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) pays respect to George Raptis, a well-known figure among Australia’s fishing industry who passed away on 29 September 2017. George was a leader in the Australian commercial fishing industry, playing a prominent role maintaining A. Raptis and Sons Pty Ltd as one of Australia’s most pioneering and successful family fishing companies with a footprint …

Off the scale!

Australia has a seafood industry that we can be proud of and last week outstanding achievements were recognised at the National Seafood Industry Awards held in Sydney as part of the Seafood Directions 2017 Conference. The National Seafood Industry Awards recognise the contributions and commitments of individuals, partnerships, businesses and organisations toward the sustainability of the Australian seafood industry. All …

57th AFMA Commission Meeting – Chairman’s summary

The Commission met for its 57th meeting in Canberra on 31 August – 1 September 2017. Key decisions taken by the Commission at its meeting included: Economic Working Group (EWG) The Commission agreed in principle to the roles, membership and terms of reference for AFMA’s Economic Working Group (EWG). The EWG is intended to provide coordinated economics expertise from Resource …

Reporting interactions with sharks

Australian fishers and the broader community have a keen interest in sharks and rays, and their management and conservation. Sharks are apex predators and an important component of the marine environment, with over 180 species of sharks found in Australian waters. Some species are highly prized by the recreational fishing community, while others are commercially targeted to supply the Australian …

New boat in the Small Pelagic Fishery

AFMA has been advised that a 40m mid-water trawl fishing boat will commence fishing in Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) off the south-east coast of Australia from early October. Like all fishing operations in Commonwealth managed fisheries, this mid-water trawl operation is subject to strict rules and conditions. This includes a strict limit on the amount of catch that can be …

It’s of-fish-al – our fisheries are in great shape!

Fans of Australian seafood can ‘shellebrate’ confident in the knowledge that Commonwealth fisheries are in great shape with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Fishery status reports 2017 showing that for the fourth consecutive year, no fishery solely managed by the Commonwealth is subject to overfishing. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) CEO, Dr James …

Australian fisheries shown to be sustainable and well-managed

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Consumers can continue to enjoy fresh, sustainable Australian seafood in confidence that it comes from the world’s best managed fisheries. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, today welcomed the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) release of the Fishery status reports 2017. “It’s …

Funding opportunity for Torres Strait fishers

A one-time funding opportunity is available to help the Torres Strait fishing industry transition to the new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) to be introduced on 1 December 2017. Funded by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), fishing associations and groups in the Torres Strait may be eligible for up to $4 000 each to support their members to transition …

Australia commits to sustainable fisheries for all

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Ensuring every Australian’s right to go fishing and have access to local seafood from some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world is at the heart of the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement launched today at Seafood Directions 2017 in Sydney. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water …

Casting a wide net to catch illegal fishers

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Canberra is hosting talks between ASEAN and Australian civil military-police leaders this week as part of a workshop to discuss multi-national cooperation on combatting illegal fishing in the region. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, welcomed the leaders from Australia’s ASEAN neighbours and said she looked …

Gillnet closure to protect Australian Sea Lions

Under Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (Closures) Direction No. 1 2017, Australian Sea Lion Management Zone D has been closed to gillnet fishing. The closure has been implemented under AFMA’s Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy because the trigger limit for moralities of Australian sea lions for that zone has been reached. The closure will remain in force in …