Torres Strait fisher fined for illegal fishing near Dungeness Reef

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Border Force A Torres Strait commercial fishing operator has been found guilty and fined $2500 for receiving tropical rock lobster from other operators near Dungeness Reef, in February 2017 without a licence. The fisher was charged with offences under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 following a joint operation …

Another good year for Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industry

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston The value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture sector increased by nine per cent to $3 billion in 2015-16, injecting an additional $270 million into rural and regional economies. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston today welcomed the ABARES Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2016 report. …

Large fines for Commonwealth concession holder’s breached permits

Two men have been found guilty of six offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, in relation to fishing for orange roughy off the east coast of Tasmania in June 2015. Under Commonwealth management, the orange roughy fishery requires commercial fishers to have a minimum quota of 30 tonnes and to have an Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Observer on …

Statement regarding a Fairfax article published on 11 December 2017

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) acknowledges the publication of the article by the Fairfax media, Foreign boats set to fish in Australian waters, expert claims, by Nicole Hasham. AFMA outright rejects any implication that deemed vessels are able to sit outside the Fisheries Management Act 1991. We agree that it is, as the article states, “unsubstantiated scaremongering.” The facts …

Support your local seafood industry this Christmas

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Christmas is around the corner and what better way to celebrate with your family than with Aussie seafood? Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said having a good supply of local, fresh seafood depended on having healthy fisheries and a viable Commonwealth commercial fishing …

Public comment: Review of the SPF Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model

Considering the views of stakeholders is an important part of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) management of Commonwealth fisheries, including the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). On 16 October 2015, the independent AFMA Commission decided to undertake a two year trial of a Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model, as a way to enable more stakeholders to engage in the …

Levy rates and arrangements for 2017-18

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has set levy rates for 2017-18. The total levy for 2017-18 will be divided into three instalments.  The first of the three invoices will be sent out on 9 January 2018, with payment due on 6 February 2018.  Invoices two and three will follow in March and May 2018 respectively. Three fisheries and one …

Torres Strait fish receiver system has commenced

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media release A new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) came into effect on Friday 1 December 2017 for all commercial fishers in all Torres Strait fisheries, excluding prawns. The FRS is to provide accurate and timely information on catches from Torres Strait fisheries. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will use the information collected to support …

Tender process for AFMA’s Scientific Observer Program finalised

AFMA has concluded the tender process for its Scientific Observer Program (the Program), and has decided not to award the contract and to retain the Program in-house. The Program places observers (independent of the fishing industry) on fishing vessels to provide verified information on fishing catch, effort, and practices of fishing vessels operating in Commonwealth waters. The Program also monitors …

Season catch limits announced for the sustainably managed Heard and McDonald Islands Fishery

Based on the latest scientific assessments, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) for Patagonian toothfish and reduced slightly the mackerel icefish TAC for the season starting on 1 December. The TAC for the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery season for Patagonian toothfish will be 3 525 tonnes, which is an increase …

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Dolphins and turtles found dead in ghost nets retrieved in the Top End

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection The results of reckless fishing practices have been highlighted after a number of marine animals were found deceased in two ghost nets retrieved approximately 40 nautical miles north of the Tiwi Islands and 190 nautical miles north west of Darwin respectively. The ghost nets …

Bycatch handling continues to improve

Fishers generally aren’t known for their soft touch, however, Commonwealth fishers are showing they have gentle hands with ongoing monitoring showing that the vast majority are doing the right thing by carefully releasing animals back into the water. This November marks 12 months since the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) introduced conditions to ensure live bycatch is handled carefully and …

Strengthening engagement with recreational and Indigenous fishers in the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries

Today is World Fisheries Day and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is celebrating the fourth consecutive year where no stocks managed solely by the Commonwealth have been subject to overfishing. AFMA’s CEO, Dr James Findlay, said today is a great day for celebrating Australian fisheries, from those who enjoy dropping in a line on the weekend, to commercial operators …

World Fisheries Day highlights fragility of essential food resource

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston Sustainable fisheries will be absolutely essential in helping to feed an increasing global population, with World Fisheries Day serving to highlight the need to combat overfishing, illegal fishing and pollution of the marine environment. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said Australia was …

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 …