National Compliance and Enforcement Program 2017-18

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) National Compliance and Enforcement Program (the Program) for 2017-18 has now been released! This year quota evasion, failure to report interactions with threatened, endangered and protected (TEP) species and bycatch mishandling are key target areas of the Program. Commercial operators are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the revised Program and the consequences of breaching …

Shining star of seafood industry

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates Veronica Papacosta, Chair of Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), who took out the Star of the Sea Award at the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards 2017 last week. The Seafood Excellence Awards recognise and reward the valuable contributions to the Australian seafood industry from operators, suppliers, retailers and prominent seafood industry individuals. Sponsored …

Tedx Dave!

Here at AFMA we like to celebrate the achievements of our staff, both past and present.  Last month, AFMA’s David Power who is currently an Adviser to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency,  presented at TEDxSydney. Dave spoke about the work Pacific nations, including Australia, are doing to help end the threat of illegal fishing and overfishing to Pacific island …

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Successful multi-lateral operation targets illegal foreign fishers

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Officers from Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), have boarded six foreign fishing vessels in the Western Pacific Ocean and identified 13 potential breaches during an 11-day operation focussing on illegal fishers. Operation …

The high-end boutique of the fisheries world

When you think of Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) managed fisheries, you tend to think of tunas, prawns, gummy shark and other popular eating species. However, what readers of AFMA News may not know is that there is an AFMA managed Coral Sea Fishery situated at the top end of Queensland, between Cape York and Sandy Cape, that supplies tropical …

Reporting SFR trading price information is now mandatory

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is reminding concession holders that they are now required to report the prices of all leased or transferred quota and gear Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) on transfer forms either electronically via GoFish or manually on the paper form. This information, in combination with other pricing and fishery information, will assist AFMA in pursuing its …

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Happy as clams – best scallop season in 15 years!

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery season starts today, and with potentially the best season in more than 15 years on its way, you too will be as happy as a clam tucking into a feast of scallops from this fishery. After an ex-shell-ent season in 2016, 2017 is set to be another pearler with an initial total catch limit …

Vanuatu – more to your seafood filled holiday than beaches and palm trees

When most start planning their island holiday, indulging in local seafood is one of the first things that comes to mind.  Australia works closely with our regional neighbours, including Vanuatu to help ensure that there is a good supply of local seafood to enjoy, and importantly that it remains that way for many years to come. AFMA conducts extensive capacity …

Chinese authorities impose penalties against illegal fishing operators

The Turnbull Government welcomes the news that Chinese authorities have taken action against the operator of the Chinese fishing vessel Yuan Da 19 which were found to be fishing illegally in our waters. Chinese authorities have terminated all of the company’s fishing licences and banned it from engaging in deep sea fishing activities as well as imposing a USD $300,000 …

Insight sharing with Indian Ocean Fishery Fellows

Earlier this week, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) hosted fifteen fishery fellows from eight Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) member nations; Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The IOTC – of which Australia is a member – is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for the management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean. …

Pacific fisheries ministers touch down in Australia to talk tuna

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Fisheries ministers from across the Pacific have converged on Mooloolaba, Queensland today to meet about the future of critical tuna fisheries. ​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said the 14th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting would discuss the sustainable management of fisheries in the Pacific, particularly tuna …

Helen Kroger appointed AFMA Chair

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) welcomes Ms Helen Kroger, as the new Chair of AFMA’s Commission. AFMA’s Deputy Chair, Ms Catherine Cooper said that she and other AFMA Commissioners along with AFMA’s staff look forward to working with Ms Kroger over the next five years. “Ms Kroger brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership into the role from holding …

New AFMA Chairperson appointed

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Ms Helen Kroger has been appointed AFMA Chairperson. Ms Kroger replaces outgoing Chairperson the Hon. Norman Moore AM. Ms Kroger’s appointment is for the next five years starting 1 July 2017. The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Ms Helen Kroger as the new Chairperson of the Australian Fisheries …

Illegal fishers caught and fined

Doing the wrong thing has consequences as two South Australian fishermen recently found out in the Naracoorte Magistrates Court when they were convicted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) for breaching Commonwealth fisheries regulations. Mr David Brooks was charged with covering a mandatory on board electronic monitoring camera on the vessel Gabo Bay.  Electronic monitoring was introduced by AFMA …

So cool! (In more than one way!)

Ever wondered about the management of Australia’s sub-Antarctic fisheries? Given how chilly it is at the moment, we thought the readers of AFMA News might be interested in some research being conducted where it is even colder! The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania has recently published an article about current research which is …

Leader in Australian fisheries awarded Queen’s honour

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates Gail Richey on being awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her thirty-year contribution to the fishing industry. A leader and venerable presence in fisheries management and the fisheries and aquaculture industry, Mrs Richey was awarded an AM in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of …

Wild caught prawns a winner this winter

With great catches of banana prawns this season in the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), expect to see a continued good supply of this tasty crustacean in seafood retailers and supermarkets across Australia. Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay, said this was great news for lovers of sustainable seafood. “Not only do banana prawns taste great, but …

Launch of peak Australian seafood body

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has a peak national body for the seafood industry – Seafood Industry Australia. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, launched Seafood Industry Australia in Adelaide today, delivering yet another Coalition government election promise. “We have been working closely with the commercial seafood sector to establish …

Turning the tide on marine pollution

As a country surrounded by water, it is no surprise that Australians have a close relationship with the ocean, and there has never been a better time to celebrate all that oceans bring to the Australian way of life, including great tasting Australian seafood, than today, World Oceans Day.   The theme this year, Our Oceans, Our Future, strongly aligns …

55th AFMA Commission Meeting – Chairman’s Summary

The Commission met for its 55th meeting in Adelaide on 11-12 April 2017. While in Adelaide, the Commission also met informally with the Assistant Minster for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, industry representatives from the Great Australian Bight Industry Association and the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, and representatives from the Fisheries Research and Development …

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Shining star of seafood industry

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates Veronica Papacosta, Chair of Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), who took out the Star of the Sea Award at the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards 2017 last week. The Seafood Excellence Awards recognise and reward the valuable contributions to the Australian seafood industry from operators, suppliers, retailers and prominent seafood industry individuals. Sponsored …

Reporting SFR trading price information is now mandatory

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is reminding concession holders that they are now required to report the prices of all leased or transferred quota and gear Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) on transfer forms either electronically via GoFish or manually on the paper form. This information, in combination with other pricing and fishery information, will assist AFMA in pursuing its …

So cool! (In more than one way!)

Ever wondered about the management of Australia’s sub-Antarctic fisheries? Given how chilly it is at the moment, we thought the readers of AFMA News might be interested in some research being conducted where it is even colder! The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania has recently published an article about current research which is …

Leader in Australian fisheries awarded Queen’s honour

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates Gail Richey on being awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her thirty-year contribution to the fishing industry. A leader and venerable presence in fisheries management and the fisheries and aquaculture industry, Mrs Richey was awarded an AM in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of …

Wild caught prawns a winner this winter

With great catches of banana prawns this season in the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), expect to see a continued good supply of this tasty crustacean in seafood retailers and supermarkets across Australia. Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay, said this was great news for lovers of sustainable seafood. “Not only do banana prawns taste great, but …

Launch of peak Australian seafood body

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has a peak national body for the seafood industry – Seafood Industry Australia. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, launched Seafood Industry Australia in Adelaide today, delivering yet another Coalition government election promise. “We have been working closely with the commercial seafood sector to establish …

2017 season SBT zone arrangements

During May to October, the waters off the coast of NSW become an area of significant interaction between the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBTF) and the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF). While the ETBF is a multi-species fishery, the SBTF is a single species fishery that requires operators to hold SBT quota in order fish. To address the risk …

Congratulations Walker Seafoods Australia!

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates Commonwealth operator Walker Seafoods Australia – state winner in the 2017 delicious. Produce Awards! The full list of state winners can be found at http://bit.ly/2rk6b7C Operating in the Commonwealth managed Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF), Walker Seafoods was also the first tuna business in Australia to receive Marine Stewardship Council certification in recognition of its …

Mid-water pair trawling in Commonwealth SPF

The independent AFMA Commission approved the determination of mid-water pair trawling as an approved fishing method in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) until October 2018, subject to conditions and review. Like all fishing operations in Commonwealth managed fisheries, any mid-water pair trawling operation will be subject to strict rules and conditions. This decision was made after considering the best …

New dolphin mitigation strategies for the SPF and SESSF

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has implemented new dolphin mitigation strategies in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) and the Gillnet Hook and Trap sector (GHAT) of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF). The strategies came into force on 10 May 2017. Small Pelagic Fishery Dolphin Mitigation Strategy (581KB) Gillnet Dolphin Mitigation Strategy (PDF 509KB) The strategies …

Now open: public comment on new Ecological Risk Management policy

Public comment is now open on a new Ecological Risk Management (ERM) policy designed to assist decision makers in developing fisheries policy, regulations and management arrangements. Submissions can be made at afma.gov.au and will close on 2 June 2017. View the Ecological Risk Management policy. Make a submission. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) takes an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries …

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World celebrates fan favourite fish

Today marks the first inaugural World Tuna Day, so it is the perfect time to start planning your next delicious tuna salad, seared tuna steak, or succulent tuna sashimi made with tuna caught from a Commonwealth managed tuna fishery. While celebrated since 2012, last year, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to make 2 May a day of world-wide …

SESSF species – catching your fancy?

Today is the start of the new fishery season for one of Australia’s largest suppliers of fresh Australian seafood, the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), and with the quest now on for Australia’s best fish and chips, there has never been a better time to enjoy one of the many species caught in this fishery. Popular eating …

Small Pelagic Fishery 2017-18 catch limits set

After considering the latest available science and data, the independent AFMA Commission agreed to the revised Harvest Strategy for the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) and set new total allowable catch limits (TACs) for the 2017-18 fishing season, commencing 1 May 2017. Underpinning the Harvest Strategy was further testing undertaken during 2016 and advice from the SPF Scientific Panel and …

Northern Prawn Fishery banana prawn bonanza!

The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) 2017 banana prawn season has got off to a great start with catches some of the best for several years. And while we may be heading into the colder months, banana prawns from the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) are a delight that can be enjoyed all year round. Lovers of prawns should know that not …

Pre-season briefing follow-up for banana prawn operators

The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) banana prawn season kicked off on April 1 in the Gulf of Carpentaria and off the coast of Northern Territory. Over the last few weeks the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd has conducted preseason briefings with trawler skippers in Cairns, Karumba and Darwin to ensure there is full understanding of management rules in the …

Public comment open: dolphin mitigation strategies for the SPF and SESSF

Public comment on both draft strategies is now closed. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking comments on two draft strategies with the objective of minimising interactions between commercial fishing and dolphins. Small Pelagic Fishery Dolphin Mitigation Strategy Gillnet Dolphin Mitigation Strategy AFMA is required to minimise interactions with protected species, while the Commonwealth commercial fishing industry is required to take all …

Bycatch handling and treatment guide is now available

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is committed to assisting industry in improving handling practices of bycatch caught within Commonwealth fisheries. Late last year AFMA introduced a fishing concession condition enabling enforcement action to be taken against any operator not acting in accordance with bycatch handling requirements. To help ensure fishers use best practice when handling bycatch, AFMA has recently …

Chair sought for Northern Prawn Fishery Resource Assessment Group

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for the position of Chairperson on the Northern Prawn Fishery Resource Assessment Group (NPFRAG). We are seeking applicants for the next three year term, commencing 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020. Please contact Yvonne Zunic on (02) 6225 5432 or email Yvonne.Zunic@afma.gov.au for further information about the role of Resource …

Lakes based officer reflects on first six months

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has had a Liaison Officer with the South East Trawl Industry Association (SETFIA) based Lakes Entrance since 2015.  This position was created by AFMA and SETFIA to help develop and work on projects that benefit both industry and AFMA. AFMA’s current officer, Danait Ghebrezgabhier takes a look back at her six months so far. …

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Successful multi-lateral operation targets illegal foreign fishers

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Officers from Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), have boarded six foreign fishing vessels in the Western Pacific Ocean and identified 13 potential breaches during an 11-day operation focussing on illegal fishers. Operation …

View Post

Happy as clams – best scallop season in 15 years!

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery season starts today, and with potentially the best season in more than 15 years on its way, you too will be as happy as a clam tucking into a feast of scallops from this fishery. After an ex-shell-ent season in 2016, 2017 is set to be another pearler with an initial total catch limit …

Chinese authorities impose penalties against illegal fishing operators

The Turnbull Government welcomes the news that Chinese authorities have taken action against the operator of the Chinese fishing vessel Yuan Da 19 which were found to be fishing illegally in our waters. Chinese authorities have terminated all of the company’s fishing licences and banned it from engaging in deep sea fishing activities as well as imposing a USD $300,000 …

Pacific fisheries ministers touch down in Australia to talk tuna

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Fisheries ministers from across the Pacific have converged on Mooloolaba, Queensland today to meet about the future of critical tuna fisheries. ​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said the 14th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting would discuss the sustainable management of fisheries in the Pacific, particularly tuna …

Helen Kroger appointed AFMA Chair

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) welcomes Ms Helen Kroger, as the new Chair of AFMA’s Commission. AFMA’s Deputy Chair, Ms Catherine Cooper said that she and other AFMA Commissioners along with AFMA’s staff look forward to working with Ms Kroger over the next five years. “Ms Kroger brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership into the role from holding …

New AFMA Chairperson appointed

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Ms Helen Kroger has been appointed AFMA Chairperson. Ms Kroger replaces outgoing Chairperson the Hon. Norman Moore AM. Ms Kroger’s appointment is for the next five years starting 1 July 2017. The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Ms Helen Kroger as the new Chairperson of the Australian Fisheries …

Illegal fishers caught and fined

Doing the wrong thing has consequences as two South Australian fishermen recently found out in the Naracoorte Magistrates Court when they were convicted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) for breaching Commonwealth fisheries regulations. Mr David Brooks was charged with covering a mandatory on board electronic monitoring camera on the vessel Gabo Bay.  Electronic monitoring was introduced by AFMA …

Wild caught prawns a winner this winter

With great catches of banana prawns this season in the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), expect to see a continued good supply of this tasty crustacean in seafood retailers and supermarkets across Australia. Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay, said this was great news for lovers of sustainable seafood. “Not only do banana prawns taste great, but …

Launch of peak Australian seafood body

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has a peak national body for the seafood industry – Seafood Industry Australia. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, launched Seafood Industry Australia in Adelaide today, delivering yet another Coalition government election promise. “We have been working closely with the commercial seafood sector to establish …

Turning the tide on marine pollution

As a country surrounded by water, it is no surprise that Australians have a close relationship with the ocean, and there has never been a better time to celebrate all that oceans bring to the Australian way of life, including great tasting Australian seafood, than today, World Oceans Day.   The theme this year, Our Oceans, Our Future, strongly aligns …

Half a century in red tape cuts

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources The Australian Government, together with the Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA), has welcomed news that more than 50 initiatives to cut red tape for Commonwealth fishers have been or are being implemented. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said this was a great result for local providers of …

No time to mullet over – head down to your local for World Fish and Chips Day

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Australians are encouraged to head for their local fish and chips shop for dinner tonight to mark World Fish and Chips Day. It’s also an opportunity to lodge a vote in the 2017 Australian Fish and Chips Awards according to Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston. “Fish …

Indonesian illegal fishers plead guilty

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Two Indonesian men pleaded guilty of illegal fishing offences in the Darwin Local Court after previously pleading not guilty following their apprehension (see Foreign fishing vessel apprehended off the coast of Darwin). The investigation, led by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) occurred after Maritime Border Command …

Indonesian illegal fishers fined

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Six Indonesian illegal fishers faced Darwin Local Court last week where they pleaded guilty to offences of attempting to steal a haul of trochus shell (sea snail). The crew received a range of immediate jail sentences and fines. The master incurred a $6 000 fine and two …

Illegal fishers plead guilty

Joint media release from Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Fifteen illegal Vietnamese fishers pleaded guilty to charges this week in Darwin’s Magistrates Court after a successful investigation led by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Australian Border Force (ABF). The master and 14 crew were convicted of illegal fishing and environmental protection offences for fishing …

Minimising fishing impacts on Australian seabirds

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston The Turnbull Government has today called for public comment on the draft National Plan of Action for minimising the incidental catch of seabirds in Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston said the National Plan of Action will ensure Australia met its international …

Call for feedback on revised Commonwealth fisheries policies

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Two important fisheries policies that together provide a framework for managing Commonwealth fisheries have today been released for public consultation. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston said the revised Harvest Strategy Policy and Bycatch Policy are key management instruments for the Commonwealth’s fisheries management regime. “The revised …

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World celebrates fan favourite fish

Today marks the first inaugural World Tuna Day, so it is the perfect time to start planning your next delicious tuna salad, seared tuna steak, or succulent tuna sashimi made with tuna caught from a Commonwealth managed tuna fishery. While celebrated since 2012, last year, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to make 2 May a day of world-wide …

A perfect oppor-tuna-ty to celebrate an important global fish

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Resources World Tuna Day – being celebrated today – is an opportunity to acknowledge one of the most popular and widely consumed fish in the world. ​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said World Tuna Day also promoted the sustainable management of global tuna stocks. “Those of us …

Illegal foreign fishing crew brought to Darwin

Joint media release from Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force. A haul of trochus shell (sea snail) was among the catch found when eight suspected Indonesian illegal fishermen were apprehended in Australian waters near Browse Island in the Timor Sea on 27 April. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force with the Australian Border Force (ABF), worked …

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