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 ...
blue-grenadier-cooked

Fishery stock getting batter and batter

Media release Today marks the start of the 2015-16 fishing season in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) and for the fourth year in a row, the total catch limit for the fishery has increased. “The SESSF is one of Australia’s major suppliers of fresh fish,” said Dr James Findlay, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Fisheries ...

New catch limits for the Small Pelagic Fishery

Media release Following careful review of the latest science and other expert advice, the Commission of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) today agreed to revise the Harvest Strategy for the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). In line with the revised strategy, the Commission has also agreed to decrease the catch limits for five of the stocks in the SPF and ...

Working with recreational fishers on fisheries management

Media release from Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Issued 28 April 2015 Recognising the importance of recreational fishing to Australian communities, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has today hosted a forum with representatives from the recreational fishing sector. Attending the forum, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck said that ...

AFMA response to claims from the Member for Denison

Statement released 28 April 2015 On 28 April 2015, the Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie made claims against the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) regarding its management of the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF).  Mr Wilkie has reportedly referred those claims to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. AFMA will cooperate with any inquiry by the Ombudsman into these claims.  However, AFMA is confident ...

Commonwealth fisherman banned for 10 years

Media release Former Port Fairy fisherman Gary Robinson has been banned for a decade from commercial fishing in Commonwealth waters for lying to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) about his catch. Appearing in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court last week, Mr Robinson, former master of the fishing vessel Western Light, was charged for under-declaring the amount of school shark he ...

New guide to developing new seabird mitigation devices in trawl fisheries

AFMA has released a new Guide to developing new seabird mitigation devices in trawl fisheries. The guide aims to make it easier for trawl operators to trial new seabird mitigation devices to reduce seabird interactions and improve operational efficiencies and crew safety. All otter board trawlers operating in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) have a Seabird ...

Seeking your comments on the statutory fishing rights price collection project

AFMA is looking at collecting price information on transferred and leased quota and gear statutory fishing rights (SFRs). Collecting the price of SFRs will provide AFMA with a greater insight of how our decisions impact on the market for SFRs and allow us to reduce the regulatory burden it has on fishing businesses through better decision making. AFMA has written to ...

AFMA strengthens marine mammal protection in the Small Pelagic Fishery

Media release The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has strengthened marine mammal protection in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF), putting in place additional measures in the vessel management plan (VMP) for all mid-water trawl vessels operating in the fishery. Vessel management plans specify the detailed operational requirements to minimise risks to the marine environment and all SPF mid-water trawl vessels ...

45th AFMA Commission meeting Chairman’s summary

The 45th AFMA Commission meeting was held in February 2015, below is a summary from the Chairman, Norman Moore. The Commission met in Port Lincoln on 25 to 26 February 2015, reflecting its intention to hold the majority of its meetings in fishing ports. To this end Commissioners met with fishing operators, undertook a field visit to tuna and kingfish farming ...