- Environment and sustainability
- Petroleum industry consultation
- Ecological Risk Management
- Strategic assessment
- Bycatch and discarding
- Protected species
- AFMA’s climate change strategy
- Sharing the ocean with other users
- Marine Protected Areas
- Marine Bioregional Planning
- Fisheries A to Z index
- Antarctic fisheries
- Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF)
- Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands fisheries
- Coral Sea Fishery (CSF)
- Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF)
- High Seas permits
- Norfolk Island Fishery
- North West Slope Trawl Fishery (NWSTF)
- Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF)
- Skipjack Tuna fisheries
- Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF)
- Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF)
- Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBTF)
- Southern Squid Jig Fishery (SSJF)
- South Tasman Rise (STR)
- Torres Strait Fisheries
- Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery (WDTF)
- Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery (WTBF)
- Compliance activities
- Harvest strategies
- Antarctic fisheries Harvest Strategy
- Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy
- Coral Sea Fishery – Hand Collection Sector: Aquarium Harvest Strategy
- Coral Sea Fishery – Hand Collection Sector: Lobster and Trochus Harvest Strategy
- Coral Sea Fishery – Hand Collection Sector: Sea Cucumber Harvest Strategy
- Coral Sea Fishery: Line, Trawl and Trap Sectors Harvest Strategy
- Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Harvest Strategy
- Northern Prawn Fishery Harvest Strategy under Input Controls
- Skipjack Tuna Harvest Strategy
- Small Pelagic Fishery Harvest Strategy
- Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Harvest Strategy
- Southern Squid Jig Fishery Arrow Squid Harvest Strategy
- Western Deepwater Trawl and North West Slope Trawl Fishery Harvest Strategy
- Data collection
- Opportunity to comment on the transhipment of fish at sea in the Small Pelagic Fishery
- Management Advisory Committees (MACs)
- Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs)
- Coral Sea Fishery Stakeholder Group
- Species workshops
SBTF at a glance
Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) is a highly migratory species and is widely distributed throughout waters of the southern oceans, including the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).
The key areas where SBT is caught are the Great Australian Bight and waters off south eastern Australia.
|Principal Species||Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)|
|No. of Statutory Fishing Right (SFR) owners as at start of SBT season 2011
(1 December 2010)
|Estimated Catch||The total Australian catches of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) for the 2010 and 2011 calendar years were 4,200 tonnes and 4,206 tonnes respectively.
For the 2009/11 SBT fishing season the SBT catch in the first 12 months of the fishing season was 4,091 tonnes and 3,958 tonnes in the second 12 months.
|Estimated Value of Production||Real gross value of production for the SBT fishery (financial years) was $46.4 million in 2008/09 and $38 million in 2009/10.
Real Gross Value of Production including the value added through ranching (farm gate value), was $161.5 million in 2008/09 and $102.2 million in 2009/10.
|Fishing Seasons||The standard Australian SBT fishing season runs from 1 December to 30 November in the following year.
Between 1 December 2009 and 30 November 2011 a 24 month season was implemented. From 1 December 2011 the SBT fishing season reverted back to a 12 month season.
The majority of fishing by purse seine for grow out ranching occurs from December – March. Longlining for SBT occurs primarily in winter months off Southern NSW.
|Main Markets||Japan. Small markets in USA, EU and Republic of Korea.|
|Fishing Techniques||Around 96% of Australia’s SBT quota is taken by about 5 purse seine vessels fishing in the Great Australian Bight for 13-25 kg SBT. These are towed alive back to static grow out pontoons off Port Lincoln and grown out for up to 6 months before harvest and export largely to Japan. SBT is also a valuable and largely incidental catch for longline vessels operating in southern Australian waters. They are also taken in small amounts by pole and line, and trolling.|
|Stock Status||Advice from the Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) extended scientific committee indicates that while the current spawning stock biomass remains very low (around 5% of the estimated pre-fishing spawning stock biomass), the outlook for the stock is positive.
There has been an increase in the number of small fish (1 year old fish) recorded in the aerial survey for the past three years and assessment of recruitment has shown improved recruitment across recent year classes. The increase in recruitment and abundance has been confirmed through separate longline catch per unit effort data sets with increases in catch per unit effort detected since 2007.
Stock assessment models indicate that the underlying spawning stock biomass are likely to increase after 2012 but it will be some time before the full impact of the recent stronger recruitment flows through to the spawning stock.
In 2011 binding stock recovery targets were implemented through the adoption of a management procedure by the CCSBT. CCSBT is the first of the five tuna regional fisheries management organisations to adopt comprehensive science based decision rules for deciding on the levels of catch for a tuna species.
The management procedure incorporates the latest data and research to establish a global Total Allowable Catch limit (TAC) for each year that will support the recovery of the spawning stock biomass to 20% of estimated pre-fishing biomass by 2035.
TACs will be increased or decreased based on consideration of multiple independent stock indicators by the CCSBT extended scientific committee to ensure that the recovery of the SBT spawning stock remains on track.
|Management Plan||The SBT Management Plan 1995 (the SBT Plan) is undergoing amendments in 2012 to update management arrangements inline with CCSBT requirements. The SBT Plan is the legislative instrument through which Australia implements the resolutions of CCSBT in the domestic fishery.|
|Management Method||The SBT fishery is managed through a system of output controls in the form of individually transferable quotas which are allocated as statutory fishing rights (SFRs) under the SBT Plan. Prior to the commencement of each season (1 December to 30 November) AFMA determines a TAC of SBT for the domestic fishery based upon Australia’s national allocation from the CCSBT. The national allocation is the portion of the global TAC set by the CCSBT that is allocated to member countries. Each SFR entitles the holder to receive an equal portion of the TAC set by AFMA for this period.|
|International Management||Australia is a member of the CCSBT that is responsible for the international management of the global SBT stock. The objectives of CCSBT are to ensure, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilisation of the global SBT fishery. Management arrangements agreed at CCSBT are implemented in the domestic fishery through the SBT Plan and associated legislative instruments.
At the eighteenth annual Commission meeting of the CCSBT in 2011 a Management Procedure was adopted that outlines a rebuilding strategy for the Southern Bluefin Tuna stock. The Management Procedure is used to guide the setting of the SBT global TAC according to the following parameters:
Based on the outcome of the Management Procedure, Australia’s national allocation for the 2012/13 season is 4,528 tonnes out of a global TAC of 10,449 tonnes.
|Ecological Risk Management||The Ecological Risk Management (ERM) strategy for the SBT fishery outlines management measures to monitor and mitigate risk to all aspects of the marine ecosystem.
The ERM strategy has been developed through the Ecological Risk Management Framework that involves a hierarchical ecological risk assessment (ERA) process progressing from a comprehensive but largely qualitative analysis at Level 1 to a full quantitative analysis at Level 3. Results of the full ERA analysis identified no species at high risk in SBT fishery. The priority for the ERM strategy is to maintain monitoring of the fishery and respond to any interactions with protected species that occur.
A separate bycatch and discards workplan has been developed under the ETBF ERM strategy for all Australian pelagic longline fisheries which includes mitigation measures relevant to longlining for SBT.
|Major Management Issues over the next 12 months||
Australia will continue to collect vital data through the SBT aerial survey to support the management procedure adopted in 2011. This includes providing relevant data to the CCSBT for consideration by the extended scientific committee and the extended commission. Through operation of the management procedure, global TACs and national allocations have been established for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Figures for the 2014 season are provisional and subject to review by the extended scientific committee in 2013.
AFMA approached the market through a request for tender in the first half of 2012 to procure monitoring services for the next three years. The monitoring services are required to determine the amount of live fish transferred into farm pontoons.
Amendments to the Southern Bluefin Tuna Management Plan are currently being considered through AFMA consultative processes.
- Changes in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery to Protect Dolphins
- Draft Shark Plan 2
- Changes in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
- Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management arrangements booklet 2011
- Freedom of Information