- Publications and forms
- Teachers and students
- Image library
- Fishing techniques
- Fish species
- Illegal fishing
- Environment and sustainability
- Scenic images
- Research and data
Seeking public comment on draft Quota Administration Policy
AFMA is seeking public comment on its draft Quota Administration Policy which has been designed to improve cost-effectiveness through simplifying and improving the consistency of quota administration arrangements across Commonwealth managed fisheries. AFMA has developed the draft policy based on the objectives of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and existing Commonwealth fisheries policy. The draft policy seeks to pursue:
- strengthening fishing rights and minimising impediments to the efficient operation of the quota market;
- consistency with legal arrangements and the government’s preference for individual transferable quotas;
- cost-effective implementation; and
- focusing on management at the fisheries level whilst accounting for all catches and discards of quota species at the individual operator level.
AFMA has worked with the Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA) during development of key elements of the draft policy. However, the CFA has not yet had an opportunity to consider the publicly released version of draft policy and will do so during the consultation period.
AFMA is now seeking stakeholder feedback on the draft policy and will accept submissions received by close of business on 30 March 2012 (please note extended deadline).
Please provide your comments/submissions to:
Manager – Policy
Australian Fisheries Management Authority
PO Box 7051
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
Submissions may also be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to (02) 6225 5500.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has AFMA reviewed its quota administration arrangements?
Over the past 20 years AFMA has introduced individual transferable quotas (ITQs) in a range of fisheries from single species to multispecies fisheries. This has resulted in a variety of quota administration arrangements. AFMA acknowledges that these arrangements have provided some flexibility to industry. However, there are on-going costs of running unique systems for each fishery and the proposed, more uniform, arrangements will be more cost-effective. AFMA is seeking stakeholder advice about getting the right balance between costs, complexity and flexibility.
Why is AFMA planning to introduce new reconciliation arrangements?
The new reconciliation arrangements are aimed at reducing the risk that operators exceed their quota holdings (i.e. fish without proper authorisation) as well as provide a single rule across all quota managed fisheries that leads to an overall reduction in costs.
What is a maximum 28 day reconciliation period?
In general, fishers will have 28 days to reconcile any catches in excess of their quota holdings. This length of time is proposed to provide a reasonable balance between providing fishers enough time to acquire quota while not allowing operators to fish too long without holding sufficient quota.
Why is AFMA planning to remove under-catch arrangements?
AFMA acknowledges that the current under-catch arrangements provide flexibility to some fishers. However, under-catch provisions also provide fishers with a reason not to trade their unused quota before the end of the season which limits the function of the quota market. As a consequence some fishers cannot acquire quota to reconcile any catches in excess of their quota holdings. The removal of under-catch provisions will provide a better incentive for fishers to trade their quota before the end of the season, improve the quota market and reduce the likelihood of fishers having caught more their quota at the end of the fishing year.
What is an over-catch penalty system?
Over-catch arrangements aim to reduce the administrative costs of prosecuting fishers for small amounts of catch in excess of their quota holdings. Over-catch penalty systems involve operators having to ‘pay back’ any small over-catch amounts from one season in the next season. Exact details of the new penalty system, including the amounts, would be examined two years after the introduction of the new reconciliation arrangements. This will allow time for operators to get used to the new reconciliation arrangements and provide some feedback on the new reconciliation arrangements. In the meantime, current over-catch arrangements will be maintained.
Will I be able to still take home fish with personal-use allowances being removed?
Yes, you can still take fish home but any quota species you or your crew take home need to be recorded and deducted from your quota holdings.
Why will discards be accounted for against my quota holdings?
In most fisheries the costs of discarding (i.e. through lower total allowable catches) is borne by all quota holders rather than just the fisher that does the discarding. Making fishers personally accountable for their discards increases the incentive to avoid the catch of fish that will be discarded and ensures that operators who discard minimal amounts are not penalised by the actions of others.
How will I account for discards against my quota holdings?
For each fishery and gear type, AFMA will work with industry to develop a plan and trial options for quantifying the amount of fish retained and discarded. There has been technological progress with systems like e-monitoring, and with some modification of processes on boats it may be possible to record the quantity of quota species retained and discarded. Once successful trials have been completed, operators would need to continue to record their discards and this amount would be deducted from their quota holdings. AFMA would use systems such as e-monitoring to audit fishers’ records of discards.
Will I get additional quota statutory fishing rights to cover discards?
There will be no additional quota statutory fishing rights allocated to cover discards.
What quota will I use to cover my discards of quota species?
The quota you will use to cover your discards will be your usual quota holdings. However, the process for determining available quota may change slightly. In many fisheries an estimate of fishery wide discards is deducted from the recommended biological catch to calculate a future total allowable catch that is then divided among quota holders. Under the proposed system there will be no deduction of discards from the recommended biological catch.
Will I need quota for catching quota species in all Commonwealth fisheries?
AFMA’s proposed approach is for all catch of quota species, regardless of the fishery in which it is caught, to be accounted for against quota holdings. However, in some circumstances this may have implications for quota allocations and this may take some time to implement.
Will I get additional quota for catching quota species in all Commonwealth fisheries
AFMA is aware that catch history has been used in previous allocation processes. However, AFMA will consult with the relevant management advisory committee(s) prior to determining the basis for any future quota allocations.
What are the next steps?
The draft quota administration policy will be out for public comment until 6 February 2012. AFMA will invite comments from its concession holders, management advisory committees and resource assessment groups, government departments, the Commonwealth Fisheries Association and environmental non-government organisations. AFMA will consider the comments received and present a final quota administration policy for approval at its April 2012 Commission meeting.
- Changes in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery to Protect Dolphins
- Draft Shark Plan 2
- Changes in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
- Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management arrangements booklet 2011
- Freedom of Information