View Post

Meet the Observers – Jarrad

Jarrad James is one of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) dedicated Observers. He has worked as an Observer for nearly eight years and been on so many trips that he has lost count! For the past four to five years, Jarrad has worked primarily in the Southern Ocean fisheries and has become our resident iceberg photographer. While back in …

Streamlining data collection in Commonwealth fisheries

Commonwealth operators catching gummy shark, pink ling and blue eye trevalla in Australia’s gillnet hook and trap (GHAT) fishery, are now required to start logging their fisheries data electronically from 1 July 2018. The GHAT sector lands catch worth about $18 million annually and injects funds into regional ports, while supplying the nation with some of Australia’s most popular table …

Clarification on approved vessel monitoring systems for Commonwealth-managed fisheries

Commonwealth and Torres Strait operators are reminded to use Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units from the approved list only when operating in Commonwealth fisheries. Recently the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) counterparts from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF),  released their new Vessel Tracking Policy and Installation and Maintenance Guide, as part of their overall Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. …

View Post

Bycatch plays an important part in healthy marine ecosystems

Bycatch is sometimes considered as an inconvenience to daily fishing operations, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the common bycatch species encountered by Commonwealth fishers. Species like draughtboard sharks, stingrays and skates are commonly caught during commercial fishing operations found in all Commonwealth fisheries and can cause disruption to the crew’s workflow, but they play …

Regional solidarity at Pacific fisheries ministers’ meeting

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fisheries ministers from 17 Pacific nations met in the Cook Islands this week to set the regional fisheries management agenda for the next 12 months. Outgoing Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Chair, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, said that regional cooperation underpins Pacific fisheries …

AFMA observer dodges storm to support sustainable fisheries

At times, AFMA’s observers need to brave harsh and unforgiving conditions to collect the scientific information required to understand fish populations and the marine environment. This is especially the case in the extremes of Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic fisheries, as experienced by AFMA observer Tamre Sarhan in a hurricane force storm in June 2016, which he recounts for us here. …

Affirming the importance of Pacific fisheries

Joint media release from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop; Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Today we reinforce Australia’s commitment to supporting Pacific fisheries, which are a key economic driver throughout the region. At the annual Forum Fisheries Committee meeting in the Cook Islands, Senator …

Response to campaigns against AFMA’s draft transhipping policy

I understand that the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Save Our Marine Life recently commenced a joint campaign about the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA’s) draft transhipping policy. AFMA is currently seeking public comments on the draft transhipping policy and guidelines regarding the authorisation of transhipping activities in Commonwealth fisheries. The AFMA Commission will consider all public submissions before it …

Cooperative international effort to rejuvenate southern Indian Ocean fisheries

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has joined with international partners, the fisheries industry and stakeholders to protect a number of fisheries ecosystems in the southern Indian Ocean, at the fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA), in Thailand. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, …

View Post

Illegal consignment of live mud crabs and tropical rock lobster seized in Cairns

A 350kg shipment of live crab and tropical rock lobster (TRL) suspected of being taken in the Torres Strait Protected Zone has been seized at Cairns airport. The consignment was intercepted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol following an inspection of an aircraft’s cargo. It is believed the catch of live crab (including …

View Post

Two tonne ghost net found in the Gulf of Carpentaria now destined to be Indigenous artworks

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Parks Australia A large ghost net has been removed from the Gulf of Carpentaria near Weipa, in Queensland, in a joint operation between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Parks Australia. The gillnet, weighing 2.1 tonnes, or more than the weight of a four-door family car, is believed to …

AFMA assumes responsibility of commercial fisheries compliance in the Torres Strait

From 1 July 2018 the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is responsible for the day-to-day management of compliance of the commercial Torres Strait fisheries, not including recreational fishing. AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said that AFMA is taking on the responsibility from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF). “The transition of fisheries compliance activities from …

View Post

Cast your vote for Australia’s best fish and chips

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fish and chips are an Australian icon, and whether you prefer grilled, battered or crumbed, from 1 August you can vote for the best fish and chips in the country. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, will today launch the 2018 National Fish …

AFMA Observer Martin Tucker recognised for years of service to science in the Southern Ocean

Australia’s Governor-General has recognised one of Australia’s longest serving fisheries observers, Martin Tucker, for his work in the Southern Ocean and the seas near Antarctica. The Australian Antarctic Medal was awarded to Mr Tucker, for his scientific work with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). “I was on a fishing vessel near Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean when I …

Australia takes the fight to illegal fishers

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Following years of multinational investigations and pursuits of illegal Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish operators, several illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing operators have been apprehended and punished thanks to Australian authorities. The Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment, has announced sanctions of AU$13 …

What it takes to become an AFMA Fisheries Officer

So, you’re thinking about a career as an Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Fisheries Officer? Here’s the inside scoop. I’ve been with AFMA for 12 years. I’ve woken to icebergs drifting past my porthole, walked the beaches of far flung tropical islands, crawled through a catch of decaying illegal shark fin on foreign fishing vessels, and shared some other amazing …

The latest fishing and gear data for Commonwealth commercial fishing is now available online

Since 2013 AFMA has been publishing aggregated raw catch data on data.gov.au. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) requires Commonwealth fishers to report their catch and effort data in daily logbooks while at sea. Effort and gear data for most Commonwealth fisheries between 2002 and 2016 is now included in the dataset. This includes the number of boats, the different …

List of approved VMS units in Commonwealth fisheries has changed

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has recently amended the list of approved VMS units for use on Commonwealth nominated fishing vessels. Changes have been made to the approved list of VMS units to ensure they remain current and in line with the technology in the market. One new unit has been added, and four older types of VMS units …

Public comment: authorising transhipping in Commonwealth Fisheries

Public comment is now open on a draft policy and guidelines regarding the authorisation of transhipping activities in Commonwealth fisheries. Submissions can be made via a webform on the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) website and will close at 5pm AEST 20 July 2018. View the: Transhipping policy: Authorisation of transhipping activities in Commonwealth fisheries Transhipping guidelines: Guidelines for authorising transhipping …