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 …

View Post

Who ya gonna call…

We may not be as famous as the Ghostbusters, but here at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) we are diligent about protecting Australia’s marine environment by busting ghosts of a different kind – ghost nets! Together with Australian Royal Navy vessel HMAS Glenelg and Maritime Border Command, AFMA last week located and retrieved an abandoned gillnet near Kerr Reef, …

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 …

View Post

Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement – combatting illegal fishing in the Pacific

Avid readers of Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) News will know about the various work AFMA does with our regional neighbours to help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Continuing this theme, last week the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Secretariat held an in-country workshop to assist Australia in its progress towards ratification of the Niue Treaty Subsidiary …

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 …

Monitoring of fisheries in the Pacific

Sharing of information is imperative to global fisheries management. Australia works closely with our regional neighbours to continually strengthen global management of some of the world’s largest tuna fisheries located in the Pacific Ocean. One of the most important sources of data available to monitor fishing activity is the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) satellite based electronic Vessel …

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 …

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, Anne Ruston 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. …

View Post

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 …

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 …

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 …

Ghostly art!

To raise awareness of the negative impact ghost nets can have on the marine environment the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is working with local Torres Strait artists to turn this harmful waste product into works of art and in turn educate about marine pollution. Ghost nets are lost or abandoned fishing nets that have the potential to entangle marine …

Joint US/Australia patrol

Throughout the year, AFMA works regularly with our Pacific neighbours, including the United States, on operations and capacity building activities to improve global fisheries management. In the last 12 months, AFMA has joined the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on four patrols targeting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The most recent multi-unit law enforcement patrol was designed to leverage …

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 …

Applying new biosecurity technology to support Australian fisheries

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Resources A mobile application that will strengthen Australia’s capability to manage and respond to significant aquatic animal disease incidents has been released by the Australian Government. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the application allowed industry to be better informed on aquatic diseases of significance for …

See all latest news

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 …

View Post

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. …

Vessel monitoring in the Torres Strait

From 1 July 2017, the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) is improving vessel monitoring in the Torres Strait.  All primary boats (boats that tow tenders) and licenced carrier boats will be required to have an AFMA approved Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) unit installed. VMS use a combination of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and satellite communications to transmit and receive …

35% reduction in bycatch trial

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources ​A new bycatch device has delivered impressive results that will improve the sustainability of fishing operations of wild catch prawns in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, today met with the developer, Mr Kon Triantopoulos, and representatives of the Northern Prawn Fishery …

Are you VMS compliant?

Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) help the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) monitor the position, course and speed of Commonwealth fishing vessels and are a key tool in ensuring compliance of the Commonwealth fishing fleet. AFMA monitors VMS compliance rates at the individual boat level, and across the whole fleet. When the fleet-wide compliance rate drops below a certain level in …

View Post

Want to know more about the USA’s oldest fishery?

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is always interested about hearing the latest news in fisheries management from both within Australia and globally. Last month, United States (US) based fishing technology and fish behaviour research scientist Steve Eayrs dropped by AFMA to share with staff an insightful presentation on his experience working with fisheries management and fishing technology in the USA. …

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery 2017-18 total allowable catch recommendations

AFMA has published its 2017-18 total allowable catch (TAC) recommendations paper for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark fishery (SESSF). This paper outlines AFMA Management’s recommendations of TACs for species in the SESSF for the 2017-18 fishing year, commencing 1 May 2017. The paper was sent to all SESSF concession holders and other stakeholders, and provided an opportunity to review …

Commonwealth and Western Australia working together for better fisheries management

Joint media release from The Hon Anne Ruston Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and the Hon Joe Francis WA Minister for Fisheries. Working across jurisdictional boundaries, the federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, together with Western Australia Fisheries Minister, Joe Francis today unveiled an agreement between the Commonwealth and Western Australia realigning fisheries boundaries off …

Public comment extended – pair trawling application

Public submissions have now closed. The deadline for commenting on an application to pair trawl in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) has been extended to Friday, 10 February 2017. View the pair trawling application. Make a submission. On 8 December 2016 AFMA received an application to pair trawl using a midwater trawl net in the SPF for an initial …

See all fishery news

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, Anne Ruston 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. …

View Post

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 …

Ghostly art!

To raise awareness of the negative impact ghost nets can have on the marine environment the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is working with local Torres Strait artists to turn this harmful waste product into works of art and in turn educate about marine pollution. Ghost nets are lost or abandoned fishing nets that have the potential to entangle marine …

Applying new biosecurity technology to support Australian fisheries

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Resources A mobile application that will strengthen Australia’s capability to manage and respond to significant aquatic animal disease incidents has been released by the Australian Government. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the application allowed industry to be better informed on aquatic diseases of significance for …

View Post

Vietnamese illegal fishing vessel apprehended in the Coral Sea

Joint media release Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Border Force and Parks Australia A Vietnamese fishing vessel and its crew of 15 men suspected of illegally fishing near Saumarez reef in the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve has been apprehended. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), working in cooperation with the Australian …

Votes pour in for national fish and chips awards ahead of Easter

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Thousands of Australians have already cast their votes in the 2017 Australian Fish and Chips Awards, as the nation prepares to dine on seafood during Easter. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said the competition was getting fierce. “It’s been great to see some of …

Australian seafood: eggs-actly what you need this Easter!

Easter is just around the corner, and what could be a more ‘cracking’ choice for your menu than Australian seafood from a sustainably managed fishery. With so many egg-ceptional choices and great catches across Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) fisheries recently, it is a perfect time to have a seafood egg‑stravaganza. AFMA’s acting CEO Dr Nick Rayns said that AFMA …

Fisheries ministers come together in Sydney

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston The third Australian Fisheries Ministers’ meeting, chaired by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, was held in Sydney today to discuss a range of significant national fisheries management issues. Minister Ruston said the meeting allowed for all jurisdictions to have specific discussions around priority issues …

Another reely good reason to enjoy Australian seafood

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Resources On Sustainable Seafood Day, lovers of Australian seafood can rest easy knowing that the locally-caught produce on their plate is sourced from the world’s best managed fisheries. The continuous improvements to fishing practices made by the fishing industry and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority are paying dividends. “Australian fisheries are …

Shell-ebrate Sustainable Seafood Day!

Today is Sustainable Seafood Day and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is encouraging all Australians to celebrate our commercial fishing industry. Whether you enjoy flathead, pink ling, banana prawns, scallops or one of the tunas (to name just a few!), there has never been a better time to enjoy seafood from a Commonwealth managed fishery. AFMA’s acting CEO, Dr …

AFMA welcomes new national seafood body

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) welcomes the new national peak body for Australia’s seafood industry, Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) and the inaugural board appointments that were announced yesterday. SIA was formed as part of the United Seafood Industries Project (USIP) to create a new voice to advocate on behalf of the $2.8 billion per annum industry. AFMA CEO, Dr …

Cray-zee in love with seafood – Sustainable Seafood Day

Friday 31 March is Sustainable Seafood Day and there has never been a better time to get cray-zee in love with Australian seafood from a Commonwealth managed fishery. With the many choices available, your tastebuds will be jumpin’ (jumpin’?) with excitement. Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay said that Sustainable Seafood Day is a great time to …

View Post

Foreign fishing vessel apprehended off the coast of Darwin

Joint media release from Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force An Indonesian fishing vessel and its crew of eight men were apprehended 175 nautical miles off the coast of Darwin on Wednesday, suspected of illegally fishing in Australian waters. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), working in cooperation with the …

Illegal fishers sentenced in Darwin

Joint media release from Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Border Force and Parks Australia Attempting to plunder Australian marine resources will result in severe consequences, fifteen Vietnamese fishers found out yesterday when they were found guilty for illegal fishing in Australian waters. The crew and vessel were apprehended on 15 February 2017 for illegally fishing near Saumarez Reef in the …

See all media releases