ANTARCTIC FISHERIES

Major species:
Patagonian Toothfish and Mackerel Icefish

Estimated catch 2009-10:
3000 tonnes

Gross value of production 2009-10:
Not available

DEVELOPMENTS IN 2010–11

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

  • On 12 April 2011 AFMA issued a direction to allow for demersal longline fishing in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery. This was following a trial which showed that Patagonian Toothfish could be effectively targeted by longlining and that the adoption of a range of mitigation strategies could avoid interactions with seabirds. The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has shown support for the introduction of the method.
  • In June 2011, the AFMA Commission agreed to determine an amendment to the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006 to amalgamate the two sectors of the fishery into a single area, to reflect the single stock nature of toothfish around Macquarie Island. This will result in a single total allowable catch being set for the fishery from the start of the 2012-13 season and beyond.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery

  • Discussions on a proposed amendment to the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management Plan 2002 to allow more vessels to operate in the fishery are ongoing. The aim is to provide industry with flexibility to maximise their catch by non-trawl fishing methods, particularly longlining. The amendment is expected to be finalised in 2011–12.

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

AFMA adopts a risk management approach to key aspects of AFMA operations

Patagonian Toothfish and Mackerel Icefish are the target species in the Antarctic fisheries

No Australian vessels participated in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources New and Exploratory fisheries during 2010–11.

REPORT AGAINST MANAGEMENT PLANS

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery continued to be managed under the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006 in 2010–11. All operations conducted in the fishery were in compliance with the performance criteria outlined in the management plan.

Two longline vessels conducted operations in the fishery in 2010–11.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery continued to be managed under the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management Plan 2002 and the management principles mandated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in 2010–11. All operations conducted in the fishery were in compliance with the performance criteria outlined in the management plan.

Three vessels (one trawler, one longliner and one dual purpose vessel capable of pot fishing and longlining) conducted operations in the fishery in 2010–11.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery are managed under the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management Plan 2002

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery are managed under the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management Plan 2002