Does our website hook you in?

At the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) we are always looking for ways to ensure that our stakeholders have easily accessible information about our fisheries management. We work with a range of stakeholders across the commercial fishing industry, research, environment and conservation, recreational fishing and other government agencies and it is important we deliver information that is easy to find …

Have you heard of AFMA’s new pod of marine mammal experts?

The sustainability of the whole marine environment is important to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) when making decisions about Commonwealth fisheries. To help ensure that the latest research and science is being used to support the management our fisheries, AFMA has formed a new Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group. In line with AFMA’s broader approach to managing marine …

Friday 13th a black day for illegal foreign fishers

Ten Papua New Guinean fishers pleaded guilty and were convicted on Friday, 13 May 2016 in Darwin for commercial fishing inside the Torres Strait Protected Zone. Two of the fishers were also convicted for obstructing Commonwealth officials during the interception. Their unlicensed fishing boat was apprehended by the Australian Border Force (ABF) on 17 April 2016 after being located approximately …

7th Recreational Fishing Forum

Sharing information and hearing the views of recreational fishers on Commonwealth fisheries management matters was again on the table when the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) held the 7th Recreational Fishing Forum in Canberra on 17 May 2016. Recreational anglers from a number of  Australia’s peak recreational fishing bodies all converged for the day to discuss not only current AFMA …

Ecosystem management of Australia’s fisheries on the world stage

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will be demonstrating Australia’s continued commitment to improving fisheries management at the 7th World Fisheries Congress in South Korea later this month. Held from 23 – 27 May 2016 in Busan, the theme for this year is Challenge to Sustainable Fisheries and Safe Seafoods with sessions across a range of areas including aquaculture, climate …

Indonesia and Australia co-ordinate forces to patrol Northern fisheries grounds

Australia and Indonesia continue to work together to combat illegal fishing with the 21st co-ordinated Australian and Indonesian fisheries department patrol of northern fishing grounds wrapping up last month. The patrol took place in the waters to Australia’s north and covered areas under Australian jurisdiction as well as an area of overlapping jurisdiction. These waters are complex and are a …

51st AFMA Commission meeting – Chairman’s summary

The Commission met in Adelaide on 27-28 April 2016. While in Adelaide, Commissioners and AFMA senior executives also held AFMA’s Annual Public meeting on the morning of 27 April (AFMA Public Meeting Presentation 2016). This meeting provided stakeholders with the opportunity to meet with AFMA Commissioners and hear some of the highlights over the last 12 months as well as challenges AFMA …

Hook into even more data

Data collection is essential for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to effectively manage our fisheries to ensure their sustainability now and into the future. Over the last few years AFMA has published annual catch data from catch disposal records (CDRs) for thirteen Commonwealth fisheries on data.gov.au. This year, Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBTF) catch data between 2002 and 2014 …

Communiqué – Protected Zone Joint Authority Meeting 25

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) held its 25th meeting on Friday, 29 April 2016. The meeting was attended by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson and Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority Mr Joseph Elu AO (via teleconference). The PZJA is responsible for the management of …

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Ghost net busters

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), working in partnership with Maritime Border Command in the Australian Border Force (ABF), Parks Australia and the Torres Strait Regional Authority’s Malu K’iai Rangers from Boigu Island, recently recovered and disposed of almost 10 tonnes of abandoned foreign gillnets sighted inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone and Torres Strait Protected Zone. The gillnets were …

Don’t get caught in the rough

Orange roughy rebuilds after strict management It’s good news for Commonwealth fishers as the latest stock assessment for eastern zone orange roughy indicates the species has rebuilt to 26 percent of their unfished biomass. Last year the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) permitted targeted fishing in the eastern zone and Pedra Branca area of the southern zone for the first …

Small Pelagic Fishery – catch limits set for 2016-17 season

At its meeting of 27-28 April, the independent AFMA Commission set the catch limits for commercial species in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) for the 2016-17 season, commencing 1 May 2016. The total allowable catch (TAC) for each of the seven Commonwealth commercial species is listed below. Species 2016-17  TAC (t) Jack mackerel East 18670 West 3600 Blue mackerel East …

AFMA’s e-monitoring hooks international interest

AFMA’s electronic monitoring program (e‑monitoring) continues to draw international interest as way of using new technology to improve fisheries management. Electronic monitoring uses an on-board system of sensors and video cameras to monitor fishing activities and catch. Recently, the Vice-Director of the Fishing Boat Research Centre, from Taiwan’s Department of System and Naval Mechatronic Engineering in National Cheng Kung University …

Fishackathon: Any fin is possible

Hackathon teams waded into some tricky problems over the long weekend as Sydney’s inaugural Fishackathon kicked off last Friday and celebrated Earth Day by shining a light on issues facing the world’s marine resources. As participants arrived and met each other they were briefed on the weekend, viewed a welcome video from US Senator John Kerry and then were set …

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Fillet Finder nets inaugural Australian Fishackathon prize

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston has congratulated team Fillet Finder for taking out the Australian prize in the inaugural Australian Fishackathon held over the weekend. Sponsored by the Commonwealth’s fisheries regulator, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Fishackathon is a global initiative of the US Department …

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Don’t get caught in the rough

Orange roughy rebuilds after strict management It’s good news for Commonwealth fishers as the latest stock assessment for eastern zone orange roughy indicates the species has rebuilt to 26 percent of their unfished biomass. Last year the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) permitted targeted fishing in the eastern zone and Pedra Branca area of the southern zone for the first …

Small Pelagic Fishery – catch limits set for 2016-17 season

At its meeting of 27-28 April, the independent AFMA Commission set the catch limits for commercial species in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) for the 2016-17 season, commencing 1 May 2016. The total allowable catch (TAC) for each of the seven Commonwealth commercial species is listed below. Species 2016-17  TAC (t) Jack mackerel East 18670 West 3600 Blue mackerel East …

More offshore waters opening in Small Pelagic Fishery

From 1 May, more than one million square kilometres of additional offshore waters near southern and eastern Australia will open to mid-water trawling in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has found that SPF mid-water trawlers pose a low risk to deep water species such as orange roughy and gulper sharks and decided that many …

Catching more fish with less red tape

Understanding fishing rules and regulations for Commercial fishing operators in south-eastern Australia will be made easier with multiple management conditions streamlined for the 2016-17 season. The direction, Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery and Small Pelagic Fishery (Closures) Direction 2016, comes into effect 1 May 2016 for operators in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), one …

Sustainable limits set for one of Australia’s largest suppliers of fresh fish

It’s good news for fishermen and seafood consumers alike with healthy total allowable catches (TACs) set for a number of key fish species from southern and eastern Australia for the 2016-17 season. Catch limits for species in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) were set by the independent AFMA Commission at its meeting last month in Lakes …

Whale shark interaction – observer report

AFMA has had a number of requests for a copy of the Wildlife Interaction Report prepared by our Scientific Observer regarding the Geelong Star’s interaction with a whale shark on 11 February 2016. All interactions with protected species from the Commonwealth’s 300 plus fishing fleet are reported on a quarterly basis on AFMA’s website. However, from time-to-time where there is …

What a tuna-round!

Seafood lovers can look forward to a healthy supply of sashimi and tuna steaks with Commonwealth managed yellowfin tuna having its best season in more than a decade. Yellowfin, caught in the Commonwealth Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF), has had a great season with catches up by around 20 per cent from the previous year. The CEO of the …

Whale shark interaction – video footage consistent with observer report

On 11 February 2016, the fishing vessel Geelong Star had an interaction with whale shark while fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). AFMA has now reviewed the video footage from the vessel’s electronic monitoring system of the interaction. This video footage is consistent with the report received by AFMA on 12 February 2016 from AFMA’s on-board scientific observer. The …

Encouraging innovation in Northern Prawn Fishery

An industry incentive program has been developed to encourage vessels in the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) to trial new and innovative ways to reduce bycatch. Launched last year, the NPF Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) is offering $20 000 in prize money for skippers, owners or crew who can develop strategies to help reduce bycatch in the NPF by 30 …

Whale shark interaction with Geelong Star

There have been conflicting claims in the media this week of a whale shark interaction with the fishing vessel Geelong Star in the Small Pelagic Fishery, particularly the life status of the animal at the time of release. As AFMA has reported to numerous media outlets, the evidence available to AFMA from our scientific observer onboard the Geelong Star is …

Eastern tuna fleet towing the line

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) works closely with other maritime agencies in monitoring the Australian Fishing Zone and adjacent waters, to detect and deter the illegal exploitation of natural resources by both Australian and foreign fishing vessels. A recent surveillance flight over waters off the east coast of Australia located six Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) longline vessels, …

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 …

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Communiqué – Protected Zone Joint Authority Meeting 25

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) held its 25th meeting on Friday, 29 April 2016. The meeting was attended by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson and Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority Mr Joseph Elu AO (via teleconference). The PZJA is responsible for the management of …

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Fillet Finder nets inaugural Australian Fishackathon prize

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston has congratulated team Fillet Finder for taking out the Australian prize in the inaugural Australian Fishackathon held over the weekend. Sponsored by the Commonwealth’s fisheries regulator, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Fishackathon is a global initiative of the US Department …

Illegal foreign fishers charged

Seven foreign fishermen were convicted in the Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday for illegally fishing in Australian waters.  Penalties for the fisherman included fines totalling $7 000 and good behaviour bonds.  Their boats were also confiscated and destroyed. Three separate cases were heard before the court in relation to breaches of Australia’s fishing rules and regulations off the coasts of Queensland …

Fishackathon hits Australian shores this weekend

Australia’s first ever Fishackathon 2016 hits Australian shores this weekend as participants and mentors get set to tackle serious issues facing fisheries and marine resources around the world. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is proudly partnering on this event being held at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), which currently has 40 participants signed up to take part. …

More offshore waters opening in Small Pelagic Fishery

From 1 May, more than one million square kilometres of additional offshore waters near southern and eastern Australia will open to mid-water trawling in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has found that SPF mid-water trawlers pose a low risk to deep water species such as orange roughy and gulper sharks and decided that many …

Catching more fish with less red tape

Understanding fishing rules and regulations for Commercial fishing operators in south-eastern Australia will be made easier with multiple management conditions streamlined for the 2016-17 season. The direction, Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery and Small Pelagic Fishery (Closures) Direction 2016, comes into effect 1 May 2016 for operators in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), one …

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Two foreign fishing vessels apprehended in Australian waters

Joint media release Australian Border Force and Australian Fisheries Management Authority Two foreign vessels suspected of illegally fishing in northern Australian waters have been apprehended by Maritime Border Command (MBC), a part of the Australian Border Force (ABF), in cooperation with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). In the Torres Strait, ABF officers on board ABFC Roebuck Bay located a …

Spanish authorities impose penalties against illegal fishing operators

Joint media release from The Hon Peter Dutton Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Senator the Hon Anne Ruston Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. The Australian Government congratulates Spanish authorities for taking action against several Spanish nationals and companies involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Southern Ocean. Two intensive investigations by Spain’s Ministry …

Coding for innovation in fisheries management

In line with our ongoing commitment for the latest in innovation to improve fisheries management, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is pleased to announce our involvement with Australia’s first ‘Fishackathon’ to take place between 22 and 24 April 2016. The Fishackathon is a global initiative, organised by the US Department of State Office of Global Partnerships, designed to raise …

Heavy fines for Sydney fish thief

Sydney based GPM Fisheries Pty Ltd, operator of the ‘Santo Rocco Di Bagnara’ has been convicted and fined $8600 for falsifying catch records about their catch of southern bluefin tuna. The Sydney Magistrates Court found GPM Fisheries guilty of breaching their Commonwealth fishing conditions by failing to accurately complete catch records required to fish in the Commonwealth Eastern Tuna and …

Australian Border Force apprehends two foreign fishing vessels

Two Vietnamese vessels have been apprehended over the weekend in waters off North Queensland for suspected illegal fishing in Australian waters. Maritime Border Command (MBC), within the Australian Border Force, made the apprehensions in cooperation with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) following a report from the Queensland Police Service. Officers detained 28 crew members, a large amount of hookah …

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Get egg-static over Australian Seafood this Easter!

Easter is one of the busiest times for seafood retailers and with great catches across Commonwealth fisheries, there has never been a better time to ‘eggs-plore’ the variety that Australian seafood has to offer. With the Easter weekend just days away, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay is encouraging us all to choose fresh, local seafood …

Indonesia sinks the IUU fishing vessel Viking

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Just like its namesake from centuries ago, the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) vessel, the Viking, has been ‘buried at sea’ by the Indonesian Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries earlier this week. The Australian Government has welcomed the news that the last active Southern Ocean IUU vessel has been sunk …

Australia’s first carbon neutral fishing operator!

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates one of Australia’s largest fishing companies, Austral Fisheries, who today were awarded carbon neutral certification and in doing so, have become the first carbon neutral seafood operator in Australia. Austral Fisheries has boats fishing from the Antarctic to the tropics, with operations in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery, in the Southern …

Fisher’s carbon management delivering trees in WA wheatbelt

Joint media release from The Hon. Julie Bishop MP Minister for Foreign Affairs Member for Curtin; The Hon. Greg Hunt MP Minister for the Environment and Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Member for Curtin, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP; Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne …

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