Feature story

DOMESTIC COMPLIANCE – A SUMMARY OF THE YEAR’S WORK

Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) and AFMA fisheries officers returning to the PIRSA fisheries patrol vessel Southern Ranger during a joint patrol.

Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) and AFMA fisheries officers returning to the PIRSA fisheries patrol vessel Southern Ranger during a joint patrol.

In 2010-11 AFMA’s domestic compliance and enforcement activities involved a range of compliance measures designed to prevent, detect and respond to illegal fishing activities.

AFMA has adopted a targeted risk-based compliance and enforcement program, during 2010–11 the key risks targeted were:

  • failure to carry observers when required
  • taking in excess of allocated quota and failing to reconcile in the required timeframe
  • not having an integrated computer vessel monitoring system on board and operating at all times
  • breaching conditions designed to implement the threat abatement plan for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery
  • shark finning and not retaining the carcasses
  • failing to accurately complete or submit logbooks
  • fishing and navigating in closed areas
  • quota avoidance and evasion.

In addition to the intervention measures adopted to target these risks and to ensure compliance with Commonwealth conditions, Commonwealth fisheries officers conducted eight at-sea patrols, made 37 visits to 23 ports (including 20 of the 30 most active ports) and inspected 176 vessels and 40 fish receiver facilities, equating to 39 percent of the Commonwealth fleet being inspected at least once.

One hundred and six incidents were detected involving a range of issues such as unauthorised fishing, shark finning, and illegally fishing in the exclusive economic zone of another country all requiring investigation, this was in addition to the 25 matters still under investigation from the previous year.

Following investigations, 106 matters were closed within the year with the following outcomes;

  • Seven closed following successful prosecutions for Commonwealth fishery offences.
  • Nine closed following the issuing of one or more Commonwealth Fisheries Infringement Notices
  • Forty eight closed following the issuing of cautions, warnings and suspensions, and
  • Forty two closed as they required no further action.1

1 No further action may include: No offence disclosed /insufficient evidence to proceed/statute of limitations expired/external referrals /Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions declined/not in public interest/duplicity of charges.