Handle With Care!

It’s a new year and AFMA is encouraging all fishers to review their bycatch handling practices and ensure they are using best practice. All Commonwealth fishers have an obligation to ensure all bycatch is handled carefully, and returned to the water as soon as practicable. The way in which bycatch is handled can have a significant impact on their ongoing …

Expressions of interest for CCAMLR new and exploratory fisheries 2016

AFMA is seeking expressions of interest from Australian companies or persons wishing to make an application for new and exploratory fisheries to be considered at the 2016 Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting. If you are interested in undertaking new or exploratory fishing, you must submit a written expression of interest to AFMA. Expressions of interest should be one page or …

AFMA seeks members for MAC and RAGs

Members sought for Management Advisory Committees and Resource Assessment Groups The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on various Management Advisory Committees (MAC) and Resource Assessment Groups (RAG). We are seeking members for their next three year terms, generally from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019. AFMA is calling for MAC and RAG members for …

Prawn fishery season opens early

The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (TSPF) reopened on 1 February 2016. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) decided to lengthen the fishing season annually by one month at its meeting on 5 August 2015. PZJA is responsible for management of commercial and traditional fishing in the Australian area of the Torres Strait Protected Zone. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s acting …

AFMA Commission vacancies

  COMMISSIONERS AUSTRALIAN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the Australian Government agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of Commonwealth fish resources on behalf of the Australian community. The AFMA Commission is responsible for domestic fisheries management. The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is calling for applications from astute, …

AFMA Research Committee call for research closes this Sunday

Please note: expressions of interest for research funding close 31 January 2016. It’s that time again when the AFMA Research Committee (ARC) is making its annual public call for expressions of interest to address research priorities identified for potential AFMA funding in 2016/17. The ARC met on 21 October 2015 to consider fishery-specific research priorities identified by individual fisheries research …

Australian seafood – another reason to celebrate

As you head to the beach or gather round the barbie this Australia Day to celebrate with family and friends, why not add fresh, local, healthy and delicious seafood to your menu. AFMA’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nick Rayns, encouraged Australians to support our local seafood industry this Australia Day. “Our Commonwealth managed fisheries are in great shape, so …

Apprehension of foreign fishing vessel in Australian waters

The HMAS Broome intercepted a foreign fishing vessel 3.1nm south of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone on 16 December 2015. A search of the vessel identified as the “Berkah” (translated ‘blessing’ in Bahasa) revealed there was fresh catch on board with approximately 200 kilograms of fresh and 200 kilograms of frozen fish uncovered. The vessel had the capacity to take …

Cooperative Southern Ocean Patrol Concludes

Joint Media Release: Australian Border Force and Australian Fisheries Management Authority Australian officers recently joined British and New Zealand counterparts on-board the United Kingdom Royal Navy Ice Patrol Vessel HMS Protector, which concluded its patrol of the Southern Ocean on 20 January 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rear Admiral Peter Laver, Commander Maritime Border Command said that the Australian Border …

Small Pelagic Fishery stakeholder consultation boosted

AFMA has increased the ability for all fishery stakeholders to comment on the science of the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) by providing stakeholders with three consultation opportunities over a six week period. The first of these opportunities commenced on 24 December 2015, when the SPF Scientific Panel released its draft recommendations for changes to the SPF Harvest Strategy and commercial …

Members sought for the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group. The Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group is being established to provide advice sought by AFMA on marine mammal management arrangements for Commonwealth managed fisheries. In particular, members are sought to support the: identification and assessment of marine mammal bycatch …

Small Pelagic Fishery – FAQs

Latest news How does AFMA ensure that the views of stakeholders are represented in the decision-making process for the management of the Small Pelagic Fishery? Are any of the management zones in the Small Pelagic Fishery currently closed? Latest science What is the latest research in the Small Pelagic Fishery? Sustainability of the fishery How does AFMA ensure that fishing in …

Small Pelagic Fishery Stakeholder Forum – 28 January 2016

AFMA is holding a Stakeholder Forum in Hobart on 28 January 2016. The forum is part of a new process the independent AFMA Commission is trialling for seeking scientific and economic advice with respect to the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). The main function of Stakeholder Forums is to provide interested stakeholders with the opportunity to consider and discuss advice provided …

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery 2016-17 total allowable catch recommendations

AFMA has published its 2016-17 total allowable catch (TAC) recommendations paper for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark fishery (SESSF). This paper outlines AFMA Management’s recommendations of TACs for species in the SESSF for the 2016-17 fishing year, commencing 1 May 2016. The paper was sent to all SESSF concession holders and other stakeholders, and provides an opportunity to review …

Baffling birds before they become bycatch!

AFMA and the Commonwealth fishing industry are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve fisheries management, including reducing bycatch in Commonwealth managed fisheries. To that end, AFMA has now approved a successful new seabird mitigation device known as a “bird baffler” for use in Australia’s southern trawl fisheries. As the name suggests, a bird baffler works by deterring …

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Expressions of interest for CCAMLR new and exploratory fisheries 2016

AFMA is seeking expressions of interest from Australian companies or persons wishing to make an application for new and exploratory fisheries to be considered at the 2016 Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting. If you are interested in undertaking new or exploratory fishing, you must submit a written expression of interest to AFMA. Expressions of interest should be one page or …

Prawn fishery season opens early

The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (TSPF) reopened on 1 February 2016. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) decided to lengthen the fishing season annually by one month at its meeting on 5 August 2015. PZJA is responsible for management of commercial and traditional fishing in the Australian area of the Torres Strait Protected Zone. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s acting …

Additional seabird protection measures in place

  Following advice from seabird experts, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has mandated additional mitigation measures that the Geelong Star must follow to reduce the risk of seabird interactions. These are now in place as part of the vessel management plan and the Geelong Star has recommenced fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). After investigating the recent albatross …

Action taken after albatross mortalities

Following a higher than expected level of albatross mortalities on the Geelong Star’s last fishing trip in the Small Pelagic Fishery, the vessel will not fish again until additional mitigation measures are agreed by Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to minimise any further interactions. AFMA’s acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Nick Rayns said that AFMA would continue to work with …

Small Pelagic Fishery stakeholder consultation boosted

AFMA has increased the ability for all fishery stakeholders to comment on the science of the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) by providing stakeholders with three consultation opportunities over a six week period. The first of these opportunities commenced on 24 December 2015, when the SPF Scientific Panel released its draft recommendations for changes to the SPF Harvest Strategy and commercial …

Gillnet closure to protect Australian Sea Lions

Under Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (Closures) Direction No. 1 2016, Australian Sea Lion Management Zone C has been closed to gillnet fishing. The closure has been implemented under AFMA’s Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy because the trigger limit for mortalities of Australian sea lions for that zone has been reached. The closure will remain in force in …

Members sought for the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group. The Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group is being established to provide advice sought by AFMA on marine mammal management arrangements for Commonwealth managed fisheries. In particular, members are sought to support the: identification and assessment of marine mammal bycatch …

Small Pelagic Fishery Stakeholder Forum – 28 January 2016

AFMA is holding a Stakeholder Forum in Hobart on 28 January 2016. The forum is part of a new process the independent AFMA Commission is trialling for seeking scientific and economic advice with respect to the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). The main function of Stakeholder Forums is to provide interested stakeholders with the opportunity to consider and discuss advice provided …

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery 2016-17 total allowable catch recommendations

AFMA has published its 2016-17 total allowable catch (TAC) recommendations paper for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark fishery (SESSF). This paper outlines AFMA Management’s recommendations of TACs for species in the SESSF for the 2016-17 fishing year, commencing 1 May 2016. The paper was sent to all SESSF concession holders and other stakeholders, and provides an opportunity to review …

Baffling birds before they become bycatch!

AFMA and the Commonwealth fishing industry are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve fisheries management, including reducing bycatch in Commonwealth managed fisheries. To that end, AFMA has now approved a successful new seabird mitigation device known as a “bird baffler” for use in Australia’s southern trawl fisheries. As the name suggests, a bird baffler works by deterring …

Re-opening of zone

Under the Small Pelagic Fishery (Closures) Direction No.1 2015, zone 6 detailed in the Direction, was closed to mid-water trawling for a period of six months from 17 June 2015. The zone was closed a result of a dolphin mortality by the fishing vessel the Geelong Star. This zone has now reopened to mid-water trawling. There have been no dolphin …

Levy rates and arrangements for 2015-16

The levy rates for 2015-16 have been set. The total levy for the 2015-16 will be divided into three instalments.  The first of the three invoices will be sent out on 13 January 2016, with payment due on 10 February 2016.  Invoices two and three will follow in March and April 2016. While levies in some fisheries have gone up, …

Obligations in relation to recreational fishing events 2016

With the recreational and game fishing season beginning early 2016, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) operators are reminded of the ETBF Code of Practice for Responsible Fishing in relation to recreational fishing events in NSW. The ETBF Code of Practice requires that operators should, where practical, avoid fishing in areas where recreational fishing tournaments are in progress to minimise …

Proposal to amend the SESSF management plan – have your say

As part of our red tape reduction agenda AFMA is proposing to amend the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Management Plan 2003. The amendment would primarily enable the granting of Statutory Fishing Rights to owners of Individual Transferable Quota units on a one-for-one basis and simplify undercatch provisions by removing the requirement to hold one quota unit on the relevant …

Call for Scientific Panel members – October 2015

Nominations for Small Pelagic Fishery Scientific Panel AFMA is calling for nominations for scientific members on the Small Pelagic Fishery Scientific Panel (Scientific Panel).  Positions will be for a period of up to two years. We are looking for up to four appropriately experienced generalist fisheries scientists, recreational fishery scientists, marine ecologists and natural resource management economists. The main function …

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Additional seabird protection measures in place

  Following advice from seabird experts, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has mandated additional mitigation measures that the Geelong Star must follow to reduce the risk of seabird interactions. These are now in place as part of the vessel management plan and the Geelong Star has recommenced fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). After investigating the recent albatross …

Action taken after albatross mortalities

Following a higher than expected level of albatross mortalities on the Geelong Star’s last fishing trip in the Small Pelagic Fishery, the vessel will not fish again until additional mitigation measures are agreed by Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to minimise any further interactions. AFMA’s acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Nick Rayns said that AFMA would continue to work with …

Australian seafood – another reason to celebrate

As you head to the beach or gather round the barbie this Australia Day to celebrate with family and friends, why not add fresh, local, healthy and delicious seafood to your menu. AFMA’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nick Rayns, encouraged Australians to support our local seafood industry this Australia Day. “Our Commonwealth managed fisheries are in great shape, so …

Apprehension of foreign fishing vessel in Australian waters

The HMAS Broome intercepted a foreign fishing vessel 3.1nm south of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone on 16 December 2015. A search of the vessel identified as the “Berkah” (translated ‘blessing’ in Bahasa) revealed there was fresh catch on board with approximately 200 kilograms of fresh and 200 kilograms of frozen fish uncovered. The vessel had the capacity to take …

Cooperative Southern Ocean Patrol Concludes

Joint Media Release: Australian Border Force and Australian Fisheries Management Authority Australian officers recently joined British and New Zealand counterparts on-board the United Kingdom Royal Navy Ice Patrol Vessel HMS Protector, which concluded its patrol of the Southern Ocean on 20 January 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rear Admiral Peter Laver, Commander Maritime Border Command said that the Australian Border …

Fisherman convicted for breaking Commonwealth rules

Media Release A Robe based fisherman has been convicted and fined $9000 for illegally fishing in a dolphin management zone in South Australia. On 10 December 2015 Robert Giles, the master of an Australian gillnet fishing boat Challenger, was charged with offences dating back to February 2014 for breaching the rules and conditions set by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority …

Jingle shells, Bass Strait scallops all the way!

Media Release Fisherman in the Commonwealth managed Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery have had a cracker of a year, with great catch rates and good hauls of high quality scallops. CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Dr James Findlay said that this is great news for scallop lovers. “Catches are at the highest level for quite some …

We wish you a merry fish mas​

Media release from Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources After a cracker of a season across many Commonwealth managed fisheries this year, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, is encouraging Australians to add sustainable, local seafood to your Christmas menu this year. “Be it a feast of Aussie prawns, grilled …

Foreign fishing vessels apprehended in the Torres Strait

Joint media release from the Australian Border Force and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority The Australian Border Force (ABF) has bolstered its maritime security presence in far north Queensland by stationing a Bay Class patrol vessel permanently in the Torres Strait region. This move paid off immediately when on 11 December, ABF Cutter (ABFC) Roebuck Bay and ABFC Cape St. …

Shrimply the best this Christmas!

Media release With Australian tiger prawn catches from the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) being the best in close to two decades, there has never been a better time to throw an Australian prawn on the barbie over the festive season. Tiger prawn catches are up almost double from last season, which is great news for the industry and seafood …

Nothing noble about this fishing

The master of the Indonesian fishing vessel Kawan Mulia (translation: ‘Noble Friend’) was convicted yesterday and fined $10,000 for  illegal fishing  after being caught red-handed with seven longlines unlawfully deployed in Australia’s fishing zone earlier this month. Mr Zamura’s boat was also confiscated and destroyed. On 9 November 2015, the Kawan Mulia was detected by an Australian Border Force surveillance …

Progress made on Geelong Star negotiations

Media release from Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, has welcomed today’s negotiations between the commercial and recreational fishing sectors on the operations of the Geelong Star in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). In doing so, she thanked both parties for their attendance and …

Sustainable southern bluefin tuna industry scaling new heights

Media release from Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston. Australia’s southern bluefin tuna (SBT) industry is on track for another good season with the catch limit for the 2015-16 season remaining at the highest level since the 1980s. The season will start tomorrow with a catch limit of 5665 tonnes. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said that …

Negotiations recommence on Small Pelagic Fishery

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston has congratulated the commercial and recreational fishing sectors for recommencing negotiations on fishing operations in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). In welcoming the news, Minister Ruston said that she was pleased both parties were acknowledging that fish stocks are a shared resource …

A black day for illegal snapper fishers

Media release Last Friday was definitely a black one for Mr Elias Missa, master of the foreign fishing vessel, Nurlaelah. Mr Missa was convicted on Friday, 13 November 2015 for illegally fishing in Australian waters around Ashmore Island. The vessel has been destroyed and Mr Missa fined $2 000. On 21 October 2015, the Nurlaelah entered the Ashmore Reef Commonwealth …

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