WESTERN TUNA AND BILLFISH FISHERY

Major species:
Broadbill Swordfish, Bigeye Tuna, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna

Estimated catch 2009-10:
538 tonnes

Gross value of production 2009-10:
Not available

DEVELOPMENTS IN 2010–11

  • Quota-based management arrangements under the Western Tuna and Billfish Management Plan 2005 which commenced on 1 July 2010.
  • The fishery continues to operate at low levels of effort compared to the early 2000s due to economic conditions. However, catch has increased from a total catch of 290.7 tonnes in 2008-09 to 538 tonnes in 2010–11.

Major Species in the WTBF are Sword fish, Big eye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Striped Marlin

Major Species in the WTBF are Sword fish, Big eye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Striped Marlin

REPORT AGAINST MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Western Tuna and Billfish Management Plan 2005 was fully implemented on 1 July 2010 following the final grant of Statutory Fishing Rights in May 2010. Under the Western Tuna and Billfish Management Plan 2005, the Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery is now managed through a quota system with total allowable commercial catch limits established each season for each of the major target species (see table below).

AFMA has specified the season dates within the fishery regulations, with the first fishing season running for 19 months commencing on 1 July 2010. All subsequent fishing seasons will commence annually on 1 February and run until 31 January.

The total allowable commercial catch for this extended season has been set in line with the Australian Government position on catch in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission area of competence. Total allowable commercial catches will apply to the major target species, specified in the table below:

Quota species Total allowable commercial catches (tonnes) 1 July 2010 – 31 January 2012
Bigeye Tuna 3150
Yellowfin Tuna 7900
Broadbill Swordfish 4750
Striped Marlin 200

Picture of an anchor