Working with Pacific partners to improve reporting and monitoring

It’s no secret that when it comes to using electronic monitoring (EM) systems for fisheries management purposes, Australia is a world leader in the field, with several Commonwealth fisheries requiring fishing vessels to use EM since 2015. EM is a system of video cameras and sensors capable of monitoring and recording fishing activities, which are reviewed by AFMA. EM systems …

Multinational cooperation targets and catches suspected illegal fishers in the Pacific Ocean

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and its international partners have wrapped up an operation focusing on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific Ocean on the high seas outside Australian waters. Over four weeks, AFMA hosted representatives from Australia’s Maritime Border Command, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, the United States Coast Guard, the French Ministère …

Working with commercial fishers to improve reporting, quota evasion and bycatch mishandling in 2018-19

The 2018-19 National Compliance and Enforcement Program has been developed to identify potential problems early and to ensure those who are doing the wrong thing are caught. Compliance, enforcement and monitoring are pivotal to the management of Commonwealth fisheries.  The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) applies a risk based, intelligence driven approach to targeting its compliance resources in the right …

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The faces of fisheries – Lydia, AFMA Senior Fisheries Officer

While on patrol in Cairns to inspect bycatch gear on Australian commercial fishing boats, Lydia received a call from her manager in Darwin – two suspected illegal Vietnamese fishing vessels had just been apprehended off the coast of Queensland, and Lydia was now in charge of the case. Lydia had never been the lead officer on an Australian Fisheries Management …

Expanded Commonwealth fisheries office in Lakes Entrance

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority officially opened its new office at Lakes Entrance today, delivering eight new jobs to the region. The offices are located in the Federation Training building on Bullock Island. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and the Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed the move as part of the National Party’s decentralisation agenda. “Hooking AFMA in to …

Two Indonesian fishers convicted for illegal fishing

The Australian Government is continuing its focus on deterring illegal fishing with two Indonesian fisherman convicted and charged with illegal fishing offences in the Darwin Magistrates Court earlier this month. Both fishers pleaded guilty in court, and their vessel was confiscated and destroyed at a facility in Darwin. The master of an Indonesian fishing vessel and one crew member, who …

Science and innovation are protecting our magnificent Albatross

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston A research project led by the commercial fishing industry has resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in seabird interactions during trials. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, commended the leadership of the commercial fishing industry in undertaking the innovative study. “Australia’s fishing industry …

It’s a myth – turtle mortalities haven’t increased as AMCS claims

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has claimed there’s been a large increase in protected species interactions in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) in recent years, which is just not true. Today the AMCS said there are “alarming threatened species bycatch hotspots in areas that would have been protected under Australia’s original marine parks plans proclaimed in 2012” …

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Nothing Flakey about finding Australia’s best fish and chips

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston The second annual search for Australia best fish and chips shop kicks off tomorrow, with over one hundred thousand votes expected to be cast in the national competition. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said she encourages everybody to have their say in the …

Public comment: Draft position statement on how AFMA considers the social aspects of ESD

Public comment is now open on a draft position statement on how the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) considers the social aspects of the ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles in the management of Commonwealth Fisheries. Submissions can be made via a webform on the AFMA website and will close on 24 August 2018. View the draft position statement: How AFMA …

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Five Indonesian fishers apprehended for suspected illegal fishing

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Five crew on-board an Indonesian fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) west of Darwin in the Timor Sea have been apprehended. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), apprehended the vessel together with the Australian …

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New graduates on rotation at AFMA part 2

For the second rotation of the 2018 Graduate Program, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) hosts two graduates from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Hear more from Cassie, one of the graduates, as she reveals what inspired her to do a rotation with AFMA. What is your area of expertise? My background is in marine science and aquaculture …

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New graduates on rotation at AFMA part 1

Each year, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) hosts graduates from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of the 2018 Graduate Development Program. Learn more about Luke and what he will be working on during his four months at AFMA. Can you tell us about your background? I grew up in a small city in Queensland called …

Fisheries tackles NAIDOC Touch Football Carnival

Fourteen Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) staff took to the local touch football fields in the ACT on Wednesday 11 July 2018 to participate in the 16th annual NAIDOC Week Touch Football Carnival for employees of the Australian Public Service (APS). 420 APS employees across 30 teams faced off in a round-robin tournament to determine their placement in the finals …

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Meet the Observers – Jarrad

Jarrad James is one of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) dedicated Observers. He has worked as an Observer for nearly eight years and been on so many trips that he has lost count! For the past four to five years, Jarrad has worked primarily in the Southern Ocean fisheries and has become our resident iceberg photographer. While back in …

Streamlining data collection in Commonwealth fisheries

Commonwealth operators catching gummy shark, pink ling and blue eye trevalla in Australia’s gillnet hook and trap (GHAT) fishery, are now required to start logging their fisheries data electronically from 1 July 2018. The GHAT sector lands catch worth about $18 million annually and injects funds into regional ports, while supplying the nation with some of Australia’s most popular table …

Clarification on approved vessel monitoring systems for Commonwealth-managed fisheries

Commonwealth and Torres Strait operators are reminded to use Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units from the approved list only when operating in Commonwealth fisheries. Recently the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) counterparts from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF),  released their new Vessel Tracking Policy and Installation and Maintenance Guide, as part of their overall Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. …

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Bycatch plays an important part in healthy marine ecosystems

Bycatch is sometimes considered as an inconvenience to daily fishing operations, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the common bycatch species encountered by Commonwealth fishers. Species like draughtboard sharks, stingrays and skates are commonly caught during commercial fishing operations found in all Commonwealth fisheries and can cause disruption to the crew’s workflow, but they play …

Regional solidarity at Pacific fisheries ministers’ meeting

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fisheries ministers from 17 Pacific nations met in the Cook Islands this week to set the regional fisheries management agenda for the next 12 months. Outgoing Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Chair, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, said that regional cooperation underpins Pacific fisheries …

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Working with Pacific partners to improve reporting and monitoring

It’s no secret that when it comes to using electronic monitoring (EM) systems for fisheries management purposes, Australia is a world leader in the field, with several Commonwealth fisheries requiring fishing vessels to use EM since 2015. EM is a system of video cameras and sensors capable of monitoring and recording fishing activities, which are reviewed by AFMA. EM systems …

Multinational cooperation targets and catches suspected illegal fishers in the Pacific Ocean

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and its international partners have wrapped up an operation focusing on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific Ocean on the high seas outside Australian waters. Over four weeks, AFMA hosted representatives from Australia’s Maritime Border Command, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, the United States Coast Guard, the French Ministère …

View Post

The faces of fisheries – Lydia, AFMA Senior Fisheries Officer

While on patrol in Cairns to inspect bycatch gear on Australian commercial fishing boats, Lydia received a call from her manager in Darwin – two suspected illegal Vietnamese fishing vessels had just been apprehended off the coast of Queensland, and Lydia was now in charge of the case. Lydia had never been the lead officer on an Australian Fisheries Management …

Science and innovation are protecting our magnificent Albatross

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston A research project led by the commercial fishing industry has resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in seabird interactions during trials. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, commended the leadership of the commercial fishing industry in undertaking the innovative study. “Australia’s fishing industry …

It’s a myth – turtle mortalities haven’t increased as AMCS claims

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has claimed there’s been a large increase in protected species interactions in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) in recent years, which is just not true. Today the AMCS said there are “alarming threatened species bycatch hotspots in areas that would have been protected under Australia’s original marine parks plans proclaimed in 2012” …

View Post

Nothing Flakey about finding Australia’s best fish and chips

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston The second annual search for Australia best fish and chips shop kicks off tomorrow, with over one hundred thousand votes expected to be cast in the national competition. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said she encourages everybody to have their say in the …

View Post

Five Indonesian fishers apprehended for suspected illegal fishing

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Five crew on-board an Indonesian fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) west of Darwin in the Timor Sea have been apprehended. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), apprehended the vessel together with the Australian …

View Post

New graduates on rotation at AFMA part 2

For the second rotation of the 2018 Graduate Program, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) hosts two graduates from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Hear more from Cassie, one of the graduates, as she reveals what inspired her to do a rotation with AFMA. What is your area of expertise? My background is in marine science and aquaculture …

View Post

Meet the Observers – Jarrad

Jarrad James is one of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) dedicated Observers. He has worked as an Observer for nearly eight years and been on so many trips that he has lost count! For the past four to five years, Jarrad has worked primarily in the Southern Ocean fisheries and has become our resident iceberg photographer. While back in …

Streamlining data collection in Commonwealth fisheries

Commonwealth operators catching gummy shark, pink ling and blue eye trevalla in Australia’s gillnet hook and trap (GHAT) fishery, are now required to start logging their fisheries data electronically from 1 July 2018. The GHAT sector lands catch worth about $18 million annually and injects funds into regional ports, while supplying the nation with some of Australia’s most popular table …

Clarification on approved vessel monitoring systems for Commonwealth-managed fisheries

Commonwealth and Torres Strait operators are reminded to use Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units from the approved list only when operating in Commonwealth fisheries. Recently the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) counterparts from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF),  released their new Vessel Tracking Policy and Installation and Maintenance Guide, as part of their overall Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. …

View Post

Bycatch plays an important part in healthy marine ecosystems

Bycatch is sometimes considered as an inconvenience to daily fishing operations, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the common bycatch species encountered by Commonwealth fishers. Species like draughtboard sharks, stingrays and skates are commonly caught during commercial fishing operations found in all Commonwealth fisheries and can cause disruption to the crew’s workflow, but they play …

Regional solidarity at Pacific fisheries ministers’ meeting

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fisheries ministers from 17 Pacific nations met in the Cook Islands this week to set the regional fisheries management agenda for the next 12 months. Outgoing Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Chair, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, said that regional cooperation underpins Pacific fisheries …

AFMA observer dodges storm to support sustainable fisheries

At times, AFMA’s observers need to brave harsh and unforgiving conditions to collect the scientific information required to understand fish populations and the marine environment. This is especially the case in the extremes of Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic fisheries, as experienced by AFMA observer Tamre Sarhan in a hurricane force storm in June 2016, which he recounts for us here. …

Affirming the importance of Pacific fisheries

Joint media release from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop; Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Today we reinforce Australia’s commitment to supporting Pacific fisheries, which are a key economic driver throughout the region. At the annual Forum Fisheries Committee meeting in the Cook Islands, Senator …

Response to campaigns against AFMA’s draft transhipping policy

I understand that the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Save Our Marine Life recently commenced a joint campaign about the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA’s) draft transhipping policy. AFMA is currently seeking public comments on the draft transhipping policy and guidelines regarding the authorisation of transhipping activities in Commonwealth fisheries. The AFMA Commission will consider all public submissions before it …

Cooperative international effort to rejuvenate southern Indian Ocean fisheries

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has joined with international partners, the fisheries industry and stakeholders to protect a number of fisheries ecosystems in the southern Indian Ocean, at the fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA), in Thailand. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, …

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Illegal consignment of live mud crabs and tropical rock lobster seized in Cairns

A 350kg shipment of live crab and tropical rock lobster (TRL) suspected of being taken in the Torres Strait Protected Zone has been seized at Cairns airport. The consignment was intercepted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol following an inspection of an aircraft’s cargo. It is believed the catch of live crab (including …

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Two tonne ghost net found in the Gulf of Carpentaria now destined to be Indigenous artworks

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Parks Australia A large ghost net has been removed from the Gulf of Carpentaria near Weipa, in Queensland, in a joint operation between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Parks Australia. The gillnet, weighing 2.1 tonnes, or more than the weight of a four-door family car, is believed to …

See all fishery news

Multinational cooperation targets and catches suspected illegal fishers in the Pacific Ocean

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and its international partners have wrapped up an operation focusing on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific Ocean on the high seas outside Australian waters. Over four weeks, AFMA hosted representatives from Australia’s Maritime Border Command, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, the United States Coast Guard, the French Ministère …

Expanded Commonwealth fisheries office in Lakes Entrance

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority officially opened its new office at Lakes Entrance today, delivering eight new jobs to the region. The offices are located in the Federation Training building on Bullock Island. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and the Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed the move as part of the National Party’s decentralisation agenda. “Hooking AFMA in to …

Two Indonesian fishers convicted for illegal fishing

The Australian Government is continuing its focus on deterring illegal fishing with two Indonesian fisherman convicted and charged with illegal fishing offences in the Darwin Magistrates Court earlier this month. Both fishers pleaded guilty in court, and their vessel was confiscated and destroyed at a facility in Darwin. The master of an Indonesian fishing vessel and one crew member, who …

Science and innovation are protecting our magnificent Albatross

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston A research project led by the commercial fishing industry has resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in seabird interactions during trials. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, commended the leadership of the commercial fishing industry in undertaking the innovative study. “Australia’s fishing industry …

It’s a myth – turtle mortalities haven’t increased as AMCS claims

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has claimed there’s been a large increase in protected species interactions in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) in recent years, which is just not true. Today the AMCS said there are “alarming threatened species bycatch hotspots in areas that would have been protected under Australia’s original marine parks plans proclaimed in 2012” …

View Post

Nothing Flakey about finding Australia’s best fish and chips

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston The second annual search for Australia best fish and chips shop kicks off tomorrow, with over one hundred thousand votes expected to be cast in the national competition. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said she encourages everybody to have their say in the …

View Post

Five Indonesian fishers apprehended for suspected illegal fishing

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Five crew on-board an Indonesian fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) west of Darwin in the Timor Sea have been apprehended. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), apprehended the vessel together with the Australian …

Streamlining data collection in Commonwealth fisheries

Commonwealth operators catching gummy shark, pink ling and blue eye trevalla in Australia’s gillnet hook and trap (GHAT) fishery, are now required to start logging their fisheries data electronically from 1 July 2018. The GHAT sector lands catch worth about $18 million annually and injects funds into regional ports, while supplying the nation with some of Australia’s most popular table …

Regional solidarity at Pacific fisheries ministers’ meeting

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fisheries ministers from 17 Pacific nations met in the Cook Islands this week to set the regional fisheries management agenda for the next 12 months. Outgoing Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Chair, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, said that regional cooperation underpins Pacific fisheries …

Affirming the importance of Pacific fisheries

Joint media release from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop; Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Today we reinforce Australia’s commitment to supporting Pacific fisheries, which are a key economic driver throughout the region. At the annual Forum Fisheries Committee meeting in the Cook Islands, Senator …

Response to campaigns against AFMA’s draft transhipping policy

I understand that the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Save Our Marine Life recently commenced a joint campaign about the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA’s) draft transhipping policy. AFMA is currently seeking public comments on the draft transhipping policy and guidelines regarding the authorisation of transhipping activities in Commonwealth fisheries. The AFMA Commission will consider all public submissions before it …

Cooperative international effort to rejuvenate southern Indian Ocean fisheries

Media release from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Australia has joined with international partners, the fisheries industry and stakeholders to protect a number of fisheries ecosystems in the southern Indian Ocean, at the fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA), in Thailand. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, …

View Post

Illegal consignment of live mud crabs and tropical rock lobster seized in Cairns

A 350kg shipment of live crab and tropical rock lobster (TRL) suspected of being taken in the Torres Strait Protected Zone has been seized at Cairns airport. The consignment was intercepted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol following an inspection of an aircraft’s cargo. It is believed the catch of live crab (including …

View Post

Two tonne ghost net found in the Gulf of Carpentaria now destined to be Indigenous artworks

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Parks Australia A large ghost net has been removed from the Gulf of Carpentaria near Weipa, in Queensland, in a joint operation between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Parks Australia. The gillnet, weighing 2.1 tonnes, or more than the weight of a four-door family car, is believed to …

AFMA assumes responsibility of commercial fisheries compliance in the Torres Strait

From 1 July 2018 the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is responsible for the day-to-day management of compliance of the commercial Torres Strait fisheries, not including recreational fishing. AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said that AFMA is taking on the responsibility from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF). “The transition of fisheries compliance activities from …

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Cast your vote for Australia’s best fish and chips

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Fish and chips are an Australian icon, and whether you prefer grilled, battered or crumbed, from 1 August you can vote for the best fish and chips in the country. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, will today launch the 2018 National Fish …

AFMA Observer Martin Tucker recognised for years of service to science in the Southern Ocean

Australia’s Governor-General has recognised one of Australia’s longest serving fisheries observers, Martin Tucker, for his work in the Southern Ocean and the seas near Antarctica. The Australian Antarctic Medal was awarded to Mr Tucker, for his scientific work with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). “I was on a fishing vessel near Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean when I …

Australia takes the fight to illegal fishers

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston Following years of multinational investigations and pursuits of illegal Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish operators, several illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing operators have been apprehended and punished thanks to Australian authorities. The Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment, has announced sanctions of AU$13 …

Ghost net artworks a positive outcome on World Oceans Day

On World Oceans Day the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is celebrating its role in helping keep our oceans clean and working with Indigenous artists to turn marine debris into art. AFMA’s acting CEO, Dr Nick Rayns said our oceans produce over half of the world’s oxygen, 97 per cent of fresh water and feed more than three billion people. …

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