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2015 Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates the winners of the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards held last week. For many Australians seafood is part of our culture, with fish and chips at the beach in summer or on a cold winter’s day fond memories for most.  And of course, who can forget, probably one of the most iconic …

MSC Certification for Walker Seafoods

Media release 28 August 2015 Australians will now have even more oppor-tuna-ties to eat independently certified, sustainable seafood with Walker Seafoods Australia Pty Ltd becoming the first tuna business in Australia to receive the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ‘blue tick’ for their sustainable fishing of albacore, yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Operating in the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) managed Eastern …

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Northern Prawn Fishery operators get onboard

In yet another example of the Commonwealth fishing industry working hard to improve sustainability of their operations, operators in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) have begun trialing new ideas to deter unwanted catch from entering the net or to escape in good shape before hauling in the net. The NPF Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) launched its new bycatch strategy in …

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Finding different ways to communicate with fishery stakeholders

Finding out the best way to communicate with our stakeholders is pivotal for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). In a first for Commonwealth fisheries, at the recent Science and Capability Training Workshop for the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery, ‘visual’ minutes were taken. Recorded by Dr Sue Pillans, a graphic recorder for the CSIRO, the visual recording was …

MSC Certification for Australia blue grenadier

Media release 25 August 2015 Despite its name, there is nothing to be blue about when it comes to the sustainability of Australia blue grenadier with the winter spawning blue grenadier fishery today receiving independent certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The fishery now joins six other Australian fisheries that proudly hold the MSC certification for fisheries sustainability. The …

Students demonstrate passion for sustainable fisheries management

Media release by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture 21 August 2015 Future fisheries managers from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) were today recognised for their innovative designs for devices to reduce the incidental capture of seals during trawl fishing. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator …

Australia’s Blue Economy: $100 billion in 2025

On 12 August, the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian MacFarlane MP, launched the National Marine Science Plan 2015-2025 (the plan),  a 10 year marine science plan to support the development of Australia’s blue economy. A blue economy balances economic benefits of the oceans with the need to safeguard their long term health. By 2025, Australia’s marine industries are forecast …

Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015

AFMA has updated the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy. The Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015 replaces the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2008 and will continue to support the recovery of Eastern Gemfish to their ecologically sustainable levels. View the updated Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015.

Illegal fishing operation fined over $2 million

The Australian Government welcomes news that the crew of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Perlon – detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in May this year – has been convicted of offences under the Malaysian Fisheries Act.

Communiqué – Protected Zone Joint Authority Meeting 24

Media release from the Protected Zone Joint Authority The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) held its 24th meeting today on Thursday Island to discuss the management of fisheries in the Torres Strait. Comprising the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck; Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Bill Byrne; and Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority …

47th AFMA Commission meeting Chairman’s summary

The 47th AFMA Commission meeting was held in Darwin in June 2015, below is a summary from the Chairman, Norman Moore. The Commission met in Darwin on 24 to 25 June 2015, enabling a visit to the Australian Defence Force’s Northern Command (NORCOM) headquarters for briefings on compliance and enforcement operations in northern waters. Commissioners also took the opportunity to …

AFMA targets logbook accuracy this August

During August AFMA compliance officers will target logbook accuracy. In most fisheries, logbooks completed by skippers are the most important information used for fisheries management decisions, including setting total allowable catch limits. Each fishery has a different, carefully designed logbook to collect the necessary information. Generally logbooks contain information about how much fish is caught, where and when it was …

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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, …

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2015 Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) congratulates the winners of the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards held last week. For many Australians seafood is part of our culture, with fish and chips at the beach in summer or on a cold winter’s day fond memories for most.  And of course, who can forget, probably one of the most iconic …

View Post

Northern Prawn Fishery operators get onboard

In yet another example of the Commonwealth fishing industry working hard to improve sustainability of their operations, operators in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) have begun trialing new ideas to deter unwanted catch from entering the net or to escape in good shape before hauling in the net. The NPF Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) launched its new bycatch strategy in …

View Post

Finding different ways to communicate with fishery stakeholders

Finding out the best way to communicate with our stakeholders is pivotal for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). In a first for Commonwealth fisheries, at the recent Science and Capability Training Workshop for the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery, ‘visual’ minutes were taken. Recorded by Dr Sue Pillans, a graphic recorder for the CSIRO, the visual recording was …

Australia’s Blue Economy: $100 billion in 2025

On 12 August, the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian MacFarlane MP, launched the National Marine Science Plan 2015-2025 (the plan),  a 10 year marine science plan to support the development of Australia’s blue economy. A blue economy balances economic benefits of the oceans with the need to safeguard their long term health. By 2025, Australia’s marine industries are forecast …

Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015

AFMA has updated the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy. The Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015 replaces the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2008 and will continue to support the recovery of Eastern Gemfish to their ecologically sustainable levels. View the updated Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015.

47th AFMA Commission meeting Chairman’s summary

The 47th AFMA Commission meeting was held in Darwin in June 2015, below is a summary from the Chairman, Norman Moore. The Commission met in Darwin on 24 to 25 June 2015, enabling a visit to the Australian Defence Force’s Northern Command (NORCOM) headquarters for briefings on compliance and enforcement operations in northern waters. Commissioners also took the opportunity to …

AFMA targets logbook accuracy this August

During August AFMA compliance officers will target logbook accuracy. In most fisheries, logbooks completed by skippers are the most important information used for fisheries management decisions, including setting total allowable catch limits. Each fishery has a different, carefully designed logbook to collect the necessary information. Generally logbooks contain information about how much fish is caught, where and when it was …

View Post

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 …

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 …

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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 …

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 …

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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, …

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MSC Certification for Walker Seafoods

Media release 28 August 2015 Australians will now have even more oppor-tuna-ties to eat independently certified, sustainable seafood with Walker Seafoods Australia Pty Ltd becoming the first tuna business in Australia to receive the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ‘blue tick’ for their sustainable fishing of albacore, yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Operating in the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) managed Eastern …

MSC Certification for Australia blue grenadier

Media release 25 August 2015 Despite its name, there is nothing to be blue about when it comes to the sustainability of Australia blue grenadier with the winter spawning blue grenadier fishery today receiving independent certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The fishery now joins six other Australian fisheries that proudly hold the MSC certification for fisheries sustainability. The …

Students demonstrate passion for sustainable fisheries management

Media release by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture 21 August 2015 Future fisheries managers from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) were today recognised for their innovative designs for devices to reduce the incidental capture of seals during trawl fishing. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator …

Illegal fishing operation fined over $2 million

The Australian Government welcomes news that the crew of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Perlon – detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in May this year – has been convicted of offences under the Malaysian Fisheries Act.

Communiqué – Protected Zone Joint Authority Meeting 24

Media release from the Protected Zone Joint Authority The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) held its 24th meeting today on Thursday Island to discuss the management of fisheries in the Torres Strait. Comprising the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck; Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Bill Byrne; and Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015

AFMA has updated the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy. The Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015 replaces the Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2008 and will continue to support the recovery of Eastern Gemfish to their ecologically sustainable levels. View the updated Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy 2015.

Updates to the Geelong Star’s Vessel Management Plan

Based on discussions with experts who attended the SPF Technical Marine Mammal Workshop and on-the-water experience from the Geelong Star’s third trip, AFMA has revised the Geelong Star’s Vessel Management Plan (VMP). The revised VMP will give the concession holder the option of either using the barrier net or a top opening excluder device to minimise the risk of marine …

SPF zone closure

Under the Small Pelagic Fishery (Closures) Direction No.1 2015, zone 6 detailed in the Direction, has been closed to mid-water trawling methods for a period of six months from 17 June 2015. This is a result of a common dolphin mortality recorded in zone 6 on 17 June 2015.  The closure direction will be in force until midnight on 16 …

SPFRAG members complete their term

NOTICE With all Small Pelagic Fishery Resource Assessment Group (SPFRAG) members completing their term on 30 June 2015, AFMA is taking the opportunity to review how the independent AFMA Commission receives scientific advice regarding the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) and how stakeholders are engaged in that process. Given the high level of stakeholder interest in the science of the SPF, …

Small Pelagic Fishery – FAQs

Upcoming activities When will AFMA make a decision about the future of the SPFRAG? How will AFMA ensure that the views of stakeholders are represented in the decision-making process for the management of the SPF? Are any of the management zones in the SPF currently closed? Latest science What is the latest research in the Small Pelagic Fishery? Are daily …

AFMA inspect the Geelong Star

On 1 April 2015, AFMA Compliance and Bycatch Officers inspected the Geelong Star, the mid-water trawl vessel recently nominated by Seafish Tasmania Pty Ltd in the Small Pelagic Fishery. AFMA Compliance Officers confirmed the vessel met AFMA’s conditions for entry of fishing vessels to Australia and that AFMA’s tamper-proof, GPS-based vessel tracking system was correctly installed and fully operational.  The …

2015-16 total allowable catch determinations – Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery

The 2015-16 total allowable catch (TAC) for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery have been determined. The AFMA Commission met on 25-26 February 2015 and determined the TACs based on advice from the South East Management Advisory Committee, the Great Australian Bight Management Advisory Committee, Resource Assessment Groups and Industry Associations. A key outcome of the meeting was the increase …

Small Pelagic Fishery Total Allowable Catches for 2014-15 Season

On 28 April 2014 the Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commission set the total allowable catch (TAC) limits in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). Table 1 shows the total allowable catches for the 2014-15 season.  The new TACs are similar to those set for 2013-14 season, with the exception of Australian Sardine that increased from 270 tonnes to 560 tonnes. In …

Seeking applications for management advisory committee members

Membership applications are now closed. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on Northern Prawn Fishery Management Advisory Committee, Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory Committee and Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee for their next three year term from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018. Management advisory committees are statutory bodies that provide AFMA with management advice. …

Boat Nomination to fish in the Small Pelagic Fishery

Posted on 16 February 2015 On 12 February 2015 the Australian Fisheries Management Authority received notification that Seafish Tasmania Pty Ltd has nominated the Geelong Star to fish it’s concessions in the Small Pelagic Fishery. The nomination follows the registration by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) of the Geelong Star as an Australian-flagged boat. Anyone who holds statutory fishing …

Small Pelagic Fishery stakeholder forum

On Friday, 17 October 2014 a forum for recreational fishing and conservation stakeholders was held in Hobart.  The purpose of the forum was to provide information on current management and science in the Small Pelagic Fishery, and to engage with conservation and recreational fishing stakeholders about the possible future management of the fishery. Three presentations were given: Small Pelagic Fishery management …

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