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Joint agency patrol targets east coast maritime threats

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Border Force Officers from the Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) have carried out a joint patrol of Australia’s east coast, using their combined expertise to detect and deter civil maritime security threats. Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Fourcroy was …

Joint agency patrols for the Southern Bluefin Tuna farm sector

Last month, fisheries officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Primary Industry & Regions South Australia (PIRSA), undertook a joint patrol to inspect Commonwealth fishing operators involved in the harvest and farming of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT). The patrol is also an opportunity for fisheries officers to inspect boats in the Commonwealth Gillnet, Hook and Trap (GHT) sector …

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Foreign fishing vessel apprehended off WA coast with 1110kgs of tuna

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Border Force An Indonesian fishing vessel has been apprehended approximately 390 nautical miles off the Western Australian coast by Maritime Border Command (MBC), together with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). The vessel was approximately five nautical miles inside the Australian Fishing Zone. MBC, a multi-agency task force …

Australia and Vietnam stamping out illegal fishing

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources media release The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has completed a joint public information campaign with the Vietnamese Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnamese Directorate of Fisheries in Vietnam, as part of efforts to combat illegal foreign fishing in our oceans. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, …

Operators face increased fines for fisheries offences

Rules and regulations are an important part of fisheries management as they protect Australia’s fishery resources for current and future generations, and help to ensure the sustainability of the broader marine environment. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) takes breaches of the rules seriously, and reminds Concession holders that from mid-2017 the Commonwealth Fisheries Infringement Notices (CFINS) became more expensive. …

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Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery continues achieving global sustainability benchmark

The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) has been re-certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for a further five years, recognising the NPF as having global best-practice ecologically sustainable fisheries management. The MSC certification is recognised internationally as the global gold standard fisheries certification system, and requires three core criteria to meet the MSC standard: the status of the fish stock, …

Indonesian illegal fisherman fined $12,000

The master of an Indonesian illegal fishing vessel today pleaded guilty and was convicted in the Darwin Magistrates Court after being caught illegally fishing in Australian waters in October 2017. The master, a previous offender, was convicted for two offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, and was fined $12,000, and warned that if he was caught again in Australian …

Torres Strait fisher fined for illegal fishing near Dungeness Reef

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Border Force A Torres Strait commercial fishing operator has been found guilty and fined $2500 for receiving tropical rock lobster from other operators near Dungeness Reef, in February 2017 without a licence. The fisher was charged with offences under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 following a joint operation …

Another good year for Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industry

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston The value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture sector increased by nine per cent to $3 billion in 2015-16, injecting an additional $270 million into rural and regional economies. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston today welcomed the ABARES Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2016 report. …

Large fines for Commonwealth concession holder’s breached permits

Two men have been found guilty of six offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, in relation to fishing for orange roughy off the east coast of Tasmania in June 2015. Under Commonwealth management, the orange roughy fishery requires commercial fishers to have a minimum quota of 30 tonnes and to have an Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Observer on …

Environmentalists’ misleading claims of foreign vessels entering Australian waters

This week Australians were deceived by some environmentalists who conjured a conspiracy theory that foreign fishing vessels were about to arrive en masse to Australia’s distant offshore waters. As the CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) I outright reject these ridiculous claims and call them for what they are, unsubstantiated scaremongering. In the article, Foreign boats set to fish …

Statement regarding a Fairfax article published on 11 December 2017

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) acknowledges the publication of the article by the Fairfax media, Foreign boats set to fish in Australian waters, expert claims, by Nicole Hasham. AFMA outright rejects any implication that deemed vessels are able to sit outside the Fisheries Management Act 1991. We agree that it is, as the article states, “unsubstantiated scaremongering.” The facts …

Illegal foreign fishing vessels destroyed in Darwin

Eight Indonesian illegal fishers pleaded guilty in a Darwin Magistrates Court last week for offences of illegal fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) last month. Their three vessels were destroyed by fire at a Darwin destruction facility. The fishers, and the three vessels, were apprehended in waters north-west of Darwin on 9 November 2017 in a joint operation by …

Support your local seafood industry this Christmas

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Christmas is around the corner and what better way to celebrate with your family than with Aussie seafood? Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said having a good supply of local, fresh seafood depended on having healthy fisheries and a viable Commonwealth commercial fishing …

Australia and Vietnam working together to combat illegal fishing

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Australia and Vietnam will commence an in-country public information campaign to educate Vietnamese fishers about the consequences of illegally fishing in Australian waters and the Pacific. The campaign is being run by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry for Agriculture and …

Public comment: Review of the SPF Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model

Considering the views of stakeholders is an important part of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) management of Commonwealth fisheries, including the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). On 16 October 2015, the independent AFMA Commission decided to undertake a two year trial of a Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model, as a way to enable more stakeholders to engage in the …

Levy rates and arrangements for 2017-18

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has set levy rates for 2017-18. The total levy for 2017-18 will be divided into three instalments.  The first of the three invoices will be sent out on 9 January 2018, with payment due on 6 February 2018.  Invoices two and three will follow in March and May 2018 respectively. Three fisheries and one …

Torres Strait fish receiver system has commenced

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media release A new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) came into effect on Friday 1 December 2017 for all commercial fishers in all Torres Strait fisheries, excluding prawns. The FRS is to provide accurate and timely information on catches from Torres Strait fisheries. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will use the information collected to support …

Tender process for AFMA’s Scientific Observer Program finalised

AFMA has concluded the tender process for its Scientific Observer Program (the Program), and has decided not to award the contract and to retain the Program in-house. The Program places observers (independent of the fishing industry) on fishing vessels to provide verified information on fishing catch, effort, and practices of fishing vessels operating in Commonwealth waters. The Program also monitors …

Season catch limits announced for the sustainably managed Heard and McDonald Islands Fishery

Based on the latest scientific assessments, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) for Patagonian toothfish and reduced slightly the mackerel icefish TAC for the season starting on 1 December. The TAC for the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery season for Patagonian toothfish will be 3 525 tonnes, which is an increase …

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Public comment: Review of the SPF Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model

Considering the views of stakeholders is an important part of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) management of Commonwealth fisheries, including the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). On 16 October 2015, the independent AFMA Commission decided to undertake a two year trial of a Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Model, as a way to enable more stakeholders to engage in the …

Levy rates and arrangements for 2017-18

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has set levy rates for 2017-18. The total levy for 2017-18 will be divided into three instalments.  The first of the three invoices will be sent out on 9 January 2018, with payment due on 6 February 2018.  Invoices two and three will follow in March and May 2018 respectively. Three fisheries and one …

Torres Strait fish receiver system has commenced

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media release A new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) came into effect on Friday 1 December 2017 for all commercial fishers in all Torres Strait fisheries, excluding prawns. The FRS is to provide accurate and timely information on catches from Torres Strait fisheries. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will use the information collected to support …

Tender process for AFMA’s Scientific Observer Program finalised

AFMA has concluded the tender process for its Scientific Observer Program (the Program), and has decided not to award the contract and to retain the Program in-house. The Program places observers (independent of the fishing industry) on fishing vessels to provide verified information on fishing catch, effort, and practices of fishing vessels operating in Commonwealth waters. The Program also monitors …

Season catch limits announced for the sustainably managed Heard and McDonald Islands Fishery

Based on the latest scientific assessments, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) for Patagonian toothfish and reduced slightly the mackerel icefish TAC for the season starting on 1 December. The TAC for the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery season for Patagonian toothfish will be 3 525 tonnes, which is an increase …

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Dolphins and turtles found dead in ghost nets retrieved in the Top End

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection The results of reckless fishing practices have been highlighted after a number of marine animals were found deceased in two ghost nets retrieved approximately 40 nautical miles north of the Tiwi Islands and 190 nautical miles north west of Darwin respectively. The ghost nets …

Bycatch handling continues to improve

Fishers generally aren’t known for their soft touch, however, Commonwealth fishers are showing they have gentle hands with ongoing monitoring showing that the vast majority are doing the right thing by carefully releasing animals back into the water. This November marks 12 months since the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) introduced conditions to ensure live bycatch is handled carefully and …

Strengthening engagement with recreational and Indigenous fishers in the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries

Today is World Fisheries Day and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is celebrating the fourth consecutive year where no stocks managed solely by the Commonwealth have been subject to overfishing. AFMA’s CEO, Dr James Findlay, said today is a great day for celebrating Australian fisheries, from those who enjoy dropping in a line on the weekend, to commercial operators …

World Fisheries Day highlights fragility of essential food resource

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston Sustainable fisheries will be absolutely essential in helping to feed an increasing global population, with World Fisheries Day serving to highlight the need to combat overfishing, illegal fishing and pollution of the marine environment. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said Australia was …

Commonwealth southern bluefin tuna catch limit set for 2018 season

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has agreed to setting Australia’s national catch allocation for southern bluefin tuna (SBT) at 6 165 tonnes for the 2018 season. As part of this decision, the Commission recognised that the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association has voluntarily agreed to set aside 250 tonnes of the 500 tonnes increase on Australia’s 2017 …

Members sought for Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC)

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is seeking applications for member positions on the Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC). We are seeking members for their next three year terms, commencing 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2021. Please contact Yvonne Zunic on (02) 6225 5432 or email Yvonne.Zunic@afma.gov.au if you require further information about the role of management advisory committees …

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Applications now open for Torres Strait fish receiver licences

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is calling for applications for Torres Strait fish receiver licences. As part of the new Fish Receiver System (FRS) all commercial fishers in the Torres Strait must land their catch to a licenced fish receiver, who in turn can only receive seafood from licenced commercial fishers. The fish receiver licences mandatory from 1 December …

Accurate logbook data essential for fisheries management

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is reminding concession holders and skippers of their responsibility to accurately complete their logbooks (paper or electronic). Logbooks are an important source of information for determining the status of fish stocks and making management decisions, including the setting of total allowable catches. Logbooks are a record of daily catch information that includes time, location, …

Giving Indigenous and recreational fishers more of a say

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation improving the capacity for recreational and Indigenous fishers to have greater input on the management of Commonwealth fisheries passed Parliament last week, fulfilling another key 2016 election commitment to the sector by the Turnbull Government. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the Government is …

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Seabird sessions

Australians heading to the beach for summer are likely familiar with coastal seabirds – gulls, terns, and for the lucky ones, perhaps a penguin sighting! Further offshore, recreational and commercial fishers might come across albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) Claire Wallis recently attended and presented at the Seabird Bycatch Working Group and the Advisory Committee …

SPF Scientific Panel and Stakeholder Forum Meetings

Updated 23 November 2017 The Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) Scientific Panel met on 16-17 November 2017 in Melbourne. The key items on the agenda were: Jack Mackerel DEPM survey results Annual assessment of SPF stocks to inform 2018-19 TAC setting process Proposed new fishing methods in the SPF (jigging and line methods) Research Priorities for 2019-2020 and DEPM schedule Review …

Diving into fisheries

At the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) we love to celebrate our new recruits! Neville Johnston has recently joined AFMA through the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP). Neville’s first rotation will be working in the Policy, Environment, Economics and Research team. Here’s what Neville had to say about what inspired him to apply for the program and commence working …

Torres Strait licence register now live

A register of licence holders for Torres Strait fisheries, with the exception of the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, is now publicly available on the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) website and can be viewed, downloaded and printed. The purpose of the register is to provide greater transparency for communities, commercial fishers and fish receivers in the Torres Strait. The Australian …

Vale George Raptis

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) pays respect to George Raptis, a well-known figure among Australia’s fishing industry who passed away on 29 September 2017. George was a leader in the Australian commercial fishing industry, playing a prominent role maintaining A. Raptis and Sons Pty Ltd as one of Australia’s most pioneering and successful family fishing companies with a footprint …

Off the scale!

Australia has a seafood industry that we can be proud of and last week outstanding achievements were recognised at the National Seafood Industry Awards held in Sydney as part of the Seafood Directions 2017 Conference. The National Seafood Industry Awards recognise the contributions and commitments of individuals, partnerships, businesses and organisations toward the sustainability of the Australian seafood industry. All …

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Support your local seafood industry this Christmas

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Christmas is around the corner and what better way to celebrate with your family than with Aussie seafood? Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said having a good supply of local, fresh seafood depended on having healthy fisheries and a viable Commonwealth commercial fishing …

Australia and Vietnam working together to combat illegal fishing

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Australia and Vietnam will commence an in-country public information campaign to educate Vietnamese fishers about the consequences of illegally fishing in Australian waters and the Pacific. The campaign is being run by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry for Agriculture and …

Torres Strait fish receiver system has commenced

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media release A new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) came into effect on Friday 1 December 2017 for all commercial fishers in all Torres Strait fisheries, excluding prawns. The FRS is to provide accurate and timely information on catches from Torres Strait fisheries. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will use the information collected to support …

Season catch limits announced for the sustainably managed Heard and McDonald Islands Fishery

Based on the latest scientific assessments, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) for Patagonian toothfish and reduced slightly the mackerel icefish TAC for the season starting on 1 December. The TAC for the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery season for Patagonian toothfish will be 3 525 tonnes, which is an increase …

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Dolphins and turtles found dead in ghost nets retrieved in the Top End

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection The results of reckless fishing practices have been highlighted after a number of marine animals were found deceased in two ghost nets retrieved approximately 40 nautical miles north of the Tiwi Islands and 190 nautical miles north west of Darwin respectively. The ghost nets …

Strengthening engagement with recreational and Indigenous fishers in the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries

Today is World Fisheries Day and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is celebrating the fourth consecutive year where no stocks managed solely by the Commonwealth have been subject to overfishing. AFMA’s CEO, Dr James Findlay, said today is a great day for celebrating Australian fisheries, from those who enjoy dropping in a line on the weekend, to commercial operators …

World Fisheries Day highlights fragility of essential food resource

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston Sustainable fisheries will be absolutely essential in helping to feed an increasing global population, with World Fisheries Day serving to highlight the need to combat overfishing, illegal fishing and pollution of the marine environment. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said Australia was …

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Indonesian illegal fishers plead guilty

Joint media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Eight Indonesian fishers have been placed on good behaviour bonds in the Darwin Magistrates Court after being caught illegally fishing in Australian waters last month. Their vessel was also confiscated and destroyed at a facility in Darwin. The master, who was a first time offender, pleaded guilty …

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Three Indonesian fishing vessels apprehended

Three Indonesian fishing vessels and 12 crew have been apprehended 180 nautical miles north-west of Darwin earlier this week, suspected of illegally fishing inside Australian waters. Maritime Border Command (MBC), a joint agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), apprehended the vessels together with Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) after fresh fish was found on board. The vessels were …

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Applications now open for Torres Strait fish receiver licences

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is calling for applications for Torres Strait fish receiver licences. As part of the new Fish Receiver System (FRS) all commercial fishers in the Torres Strait must land their catch to a licenced fish receiver, who in turn can only receive seafood from licenced commercial fishers. The fish receiver licences mandatory from 1 December …

Indonesian illegal fishers face court

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Five Indonesian illegal fishers faced Darwin Magistrates Court this week where they pleaded guilty to offences after illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ). The master of the vessel, who was a first time offender, was convicted and received a fine of $2000, while the four crew, …

Giving Indigenous and recreational fishers more of a say

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation improving the capacity for recreational and Indigenous fishers to have greater input on the management of Commonwealth fisheries passed Parliament last week, fulfilling another key 2016 election commitment to the sector by the Turnbull Government. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the Government is …

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Two Indonesian foreign fishing vessels located off the NT coast

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Border Force Two foreign fishing vessels and 14 crew members suspected of illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) were apprehended yesterday by Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), together with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). An ABF Dash-8 aircraft …

Torres Strait licence register now live

A register of licence holders for Torres Strait fisheries, with the exception of the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, is now publicly available on the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) website and can be viewed, downloaded and printed. The purpose of the register is to provide greater transparency for communities, commercial fishers and fish receivers in the Torres Strait. The Australian …

Perfect time to tackle fishing

Fishing, be it commercial or recreational, is an integral part of the Australian lifestyle and with this Sunday being Gone Fishing Day, there has never been a better time to drop a line! Events are being held across the country, to encourage people to take to the water. The second annual day celebrates the many benefits of fishing, from spending …

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Indonesian fishing vessel and crew apprehended

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Department of Immigration and Border Protection Maritime Border Command (MBC) together with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) have apprehended an Indonesian fishing vessel about 190 nautical miles off the Northern Territory coast, suspected of illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ). MBC, a multi-agency task force within the Australian …

It’s of-fish-al – our fisheries are in great shape!

Fans of Australian seafood can ‘shellebrate’ confident in the knowledge that Commonwealth fisheries are in great shape with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Fishery status reports 2017 showing that for the fourth consecutive year, no fishery solely managed by the Commonwealth is subject to overfishing. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) CEO, Dr James …

Australian fisheries shown to be sustainable and well-managed

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Consumers can continue to enjoy fresh, sustainable Australian seafood in confidence that it comes from the world’s best managed fisheries. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, today welcomed the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) release of the Fishery status reports 2017. “It’s …

Funding opportunity for Torres Strait fishers

A one-time funding opportunity is available to help the Torres Strait fishing industry transition to the new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) to be introduced on 1 December 2017. Funded by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), fishing associations and groups in the Torres Strait may be eligible for up to $4 000 each to support their members to transition …

Australia commits to sustainable fisheries for all

Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston Ensuring every Australian’s right to go fishing and have access to local seafood from some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world is at the heart of the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement launched today at Seafood Directions 2017 in Sydney. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water …

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