Keeping-Watch

Working to deter illegal fishing in 2015-16

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has released its National Compliance and Enforcement Program for 2015-16. The Program sets the direction for AFMA’s domestic compliance and enforcement activities for this financial year. AFMA has a strict compliance regime in place to help ensure that our fisheries resources are managed sustainably. “Illegal fishing jeopardises the very rules and regulations we have in ...

Trilateral cooperation in the Pacific

Media release 27 July 2015 Australia’s engagement with our international counterparts to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has again been showcased during the trilateral Operation Nasse with France and New Zealand. Officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Australian Border Force (ABF) embarked on patrol and surveillance assets as part of the four week operation in ...

AFMA annual public meeting

AFMA's annual public meeting will be held on 26 August 2015 in Canberra. All stakeholders are invited to attend. This meeting gives stakeholders the opportunity to meet with AFMA Commissioners. Where: AFMA's office, Level 6, 73 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City. Time: The meeting will commence at 9.00am and finish with morning tea by 10.30am. RSVP: AFMA Executive Secretary, Andrew Pearson, ...

Case study – fishery closures and orange roughy

Fishery closures can help protect species from becoming overfished as well as enabling species to recover from overfishing. A good example of how fishery closures have helped rebuild some stocks of orange roughy to a point where they once again can be sustainably commercially fished. Orange roughy became popular when stocks were first found by trawlers in overseas fisheries during the ...

Stakeholder advice an important part of Commonwealth fisheries management

Media release. Considering the views of stakeholders is an important part of Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) management of Commonwealth fisheries, including the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). This will continue to be the case under future proposals that AFMA is considering for how the independent AFMA Commission receives advice about the science of the SPF. The terms of each of ...
SBT

Southern bluefin tuna core and buffer zones 2015

To minimise the risk of Southern bluefin tuna (SBT) being taken without quota off the east coast of Australia, in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF), AFMA annually implements core and buffer zones for restricted access in the fishery. This year’s SBT Zones have now been introduced in the ETBF to coincide with the annual migration of SBT up ...

Northern Prawn Fishery commended for focus on sustainability

Media release by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture. 8 July 2015 Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, congratulated the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry for taking initiative to ensure the sustainability of their industry into the future. Senator Colbeck last night launched the Northern Prawn Fishery 2015-18 Bycatch Strategy at ...
dont-be-a-jack-screen-shot

Don’t be a Jack – look after our fisheries

Media release Whilst most Commonwealth fishers do the right thing there are some that don’t and rob the Australian community of valuable resources threatening the sustainability of our fisheries.  To help raise awareness of the consequences of illegal fishing, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has released a video featuring ‘Fisherman Jack’. The video can be found at afma.gov.au Fisherman ...

Bass Strait scallops – heroes in a half shell

Media release Scallop lovers have something more to smile about this winter with the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery having the highest catch limit set since 2010 when the season opens tomorrow. This means more succulent, juicy, Australian scallops to enjoy. AFMA’s Acting CEO, Dr Nick Rayns said that the scallop fishery was just one of the Commonwealth fisheries ...

VMS compliance close to 100% during June

Media release Commonwealth fishers achieved almost 100 per cent compliance with their vessel monitoring system requirements in June following a targeted operation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). VMS uses  satellite based Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track the location of the entire fleet of more than 300 Commonwealth fishing boats in real time, 24 hours a day, 365 ...

International cooperation combatting illegal fishing

Joint media release from the Hon Peter Dutton MP Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture. 26 June 2015 The Australian Government welcomes news from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment that legal proceedings have commenced against Spanish nationals involved with operation of the illegal, unreported and ...

Observer program expression of interest outcome

The outcome of the recent Call for Expressions of Interest to Market Test the AFMA Scientific Observer Program (RfEOI 2014- 20874) has been decided. The purpose of the expression of interest was to determine the range of service providers available within the market with the capability to meet the program requirements. AFMA has completed an assessment of the capability of ...

Outcomes of the 2015 Resource Assessment Group Workshop

AFMA hosted a resource assessment group (RAG) workshop in Canberra on 21 and 22 May 2015. The following is the summaries of the key outcomes: Managing conflicts of interest – application of Fisheries Administration Paper 12 – Resource Assessment Groups RAG members were reminded of their obligations to declare, and manage, conflicts of interest at the start and throughout RAG meetings ...

AFMA target fishing in closure areas this July

This July AFMA fisheries officers will be targeting boats fishing or navigating below 5 knots in closed areas. It is a breach of permit conditions to fish or navigating below 5 knots in a closed area. If caught fishers may be fined or prosecuted. AFMA monitors fishing activity 24/7 via Vessel Monitoring Systems and Electronic Monitoring Systems. If a boat ...
From left to right: Jay Shoesmith, Rob Hambley, Graham Potter, Peter Maslen, Annie Jarrett, Neil Harris, Jeff Clarkson, Phil Robson, Mark Robson and Stefan Diakas.

Success for Northern Prawn Fishery at the Qld Seafood Industry Awards

AFMA congratulates the Commonwealth managed Northern Prawn Fishing Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) on their achievements at the recent Queensland Seafood Industry Awards in Brisbane on Saturday, 13 June 2015. The NPFI took out two awards at the ceremony and will now go on to compete for national honours later this year. "We are thrilled to advise that NPFI won the Research, ...

Australian fisheries in final stages of independent certification

Showcasing Australia’s excellence in fisheries management, two more of our Commonwealth fishery operators are now in the final stages of independent certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Petuna Sealord Deepwater Fishing fishing for Australian blue grenadier, in the AFMA managed Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery; and Walker Seafood Australia fishing for albacore, yellowfin tuna and swordfish, in ...
Electronic monitoring camera on board vessel

Electronic monitoring mandatory in selected Commonwealth fisheries

Electronic monitoring (e-monitoring) will be mandatory for all full time* boats in the Eastern and Western Tuna and Billfish (ETBF and WTBF) fisheries and the Gillnet Hook and Trap (GHAT) sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) from 1 July 2015. Any full time boats that don't have an operational e-monitoring system after this time will ...

Rest a-shore-d our fisheries are shipshape!

Media release Commonwealth fisheries are in great shape and with Monday being World Oceans Day, what a fitting time to celebrate our sustainable, commercial fishing industry and get stuck into a feed of locally caught, Aussie seafood. The Acting CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Dr Nick Rayns said Australians have a lot to be pleased about when ...
MFMRD Enforcement Officer undertaking volumetrics analysis during in-port inspection in Kiritimati.

AFMA continues to build capacity with international counterparts

Working with Fisheries Enforcement officers from the Kiribati Ministry for Fisheries and Marine Resources Development (MFMRD) and Maritime Police Officers, AFMA recently conducted Port State Inspection training building on their capacity to conduct inspections in the region. The training took place on the Island of Kiritimati , which in English translation means Christmas Island, an Island located in the Line ...

Regional cooperation leaves organised crime high and dry

Joint media release The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Friday, 15 May 2015 The Australian Government has welcomed news that the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Perlon has been detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). This latest detention ...

International recognition for AFMA’s compliance program

AFMA’s compliance policy, program and risk based methodologies are being used as examples of ‘world’s best practice’ for fisheries management by Michigan State University Doctoral student, and author of the Breaching The Blue blog, Mr Mark Gibson. Mark is currently researching conservation criminology at Michigan State University and, as described in a series of articles on his blog, he has focused fisheries ...

46th AFMA Commission meeting Chairman’s summary

The 46th AFMA Commission meeting was held in April 2015, below is a summary from the Chairman, Norman Moore. The Commission met in Canberra on 29 to 30 April 2015, enabling a number of Commissioners to attend as observers at AFMA’s Recreational Fishing Forum that was held on 28 April 2015. Commissioners also took the opportunity to meet with senior officers from ...

International fisheries obligations given legal effect

International fisheries obligations have come into effect following acceptance of the Fisheries Management (International Agreements) Regulations 2009 (the Regulations) by the Governor-General at the meeting of the Executive Council on 16 April 2015. The regulations implement Australia’s obligations as a member of the following international fisheries management organisations (IFMOs): the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) ...
AFMA can track fishing boat locations via vessel monitoring systems

AFMA targets VMS compliance this June

During June 2015, AFMA will be targeting vessel monitoring system (VMS) compliance. All boats nominated to Commonwealth concessions are required to have a VMS unit operating at all times. Any boat with a VMS unit that stops reporting will be ordered to stop fishing immediately and return to port until AFMA is satisfied that the boat’s monitoring system is working ...

5th Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Sub-Regional (Arafura and Timor Seas) Group Meeting

AFMA hosted the 5th Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Sub-Regional (Arafura and Timor Seas) Group meeting in Darwin on 11 to 13 March 2015. Delegates attended from each of the member nations including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Australia. Key matters discussed included illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing issues and MCS measures undertaken to combat these within their ...

Apprehension of foreign fishing vessel off Ashmore Island

Media release Border Protection Command (BPC), working closely with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), has apprehended a foreign fishing vessel approximately two nautical miles north of Ashmore Island, suspected of illegally fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone. An Australian Customs and Border Protection Service vessel, operating under the control of BPC, intercepted the fishing vessel on Wednesday, 6 May ...

Strict new conditions imposed in the Small Pelagic Fishery

Media release Mid-water trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery, including the Geelong Star, will only be allowed to fish during daytime hours as part of more restrictive measures put in place by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). The night time fishing ban will apply to mid-water trawl vessels fishing in the SPF.  As further protection and to provide incentive ...

AFMA joins forces with INTERPOL

AFMA and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) have joined forces to improve control over illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels and to assist countries in South-East Asia to close off their ports to IUU vessels. In February 2015 INTERPOL invited AFMA to participate in training for investigators of fisheries crime in South-East Asia. The training was hosted by the ...

Temporary change in CEO arrangements

AFMA’s CEO, Dr James Findlay will be on personal leave for approximately two months from Monday, 11 May 2015.  This leave is being taken for a scheduled operation.  Pending the recovery period, Dr Findlay is expected to be back in the office in early July 2015. Dr Nick Rayns will be acting CEO during this period. AFMA Commission and staff ...

Geelong Star – operational update

AFMA has been advised of four further dolphin mortalities from fishing by the Geelong Star, the vessel nominated by Seafish Tasmania Ltd to fish in the Small Pelagic Fishery ...