The Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy and associated guidelines provide a framework to maintain key commercial stocks at ecologically sustainable levels and maximise net economic returns through fisheries management and applying a precautionary approach.

AFMA and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences are reviewing and testing harvest strategies to assess their effectiveness at meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy over 2009–12.

The effectiveness of AFMA’s harvest strategies in meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy

Key Performance Indicators 2011–12 Forecast 2011–12 Actual
For economically significant stocks1
a) Maximise the number of key commercial stocks with harvest strategy targets based on maximum economic yield or the best available proxy2 18 18
b) Improve the number of stocks in (a) assessed as being on target 11 11
c) For those stocks in (a) that are assessed as not on target, improve the number that are heading towards their target reference point 7 6

1 The top 32 fish stocks contributing to the gross value of production of Commonwealth fisheries.

2 Where higher and lower value species are caught together, different targets for the lower value species may maximise net economic returns over all.

In addition to AFMA’s success in meeting the objectives of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy, the following indicators:

Key Performance Indicators 2011–12 Forecast 2011–12 Actual Comment
Minimise the number of fish stocks subject to overfishing 1 0 3 Six stocks were subject to overfishing (from eight the previous year), three of which were solely AFMA-managed stocks and the other three were jointly managed stocks.
Minimise the number of species assessed as remaining at high risk after mitigation2 90 69 The groups at high risk from fishing are:
• sharks/rays 18
• invertebrates 9
• marine reptiles 1
• bony fish 4
• marine mammals 33 (28 whales/dolphins and 5 seals/sea lions)
Maximise the disposal of apprehended foreign illegal unregulated and unreported vessels and suspected illegal entry vessels. 100% 100% All foreign illegal unregulated and unreported fishing vessels apprehended were disposed of in accordance with agreed government protocols.

AFMA received no suspected illegal entry vessels to be disposed of during 2011-12.

Percentage of treatment targets for priority domestic compliance risks met. 90% 87.5% Five key priority risks were identified during the 2011-12 domestic compliance risk assessment.
AFMA established compliance risk management teams for each and intervention treatment measures were applied to minimise the risks associated with;
• failure to have an operational Vessel Monitoring System fitted.
• fishing or navigation in closed areas
• failure to reconcile excess of allocated quota within required timeframes
• failure to report interaction with protected or prohibited species quota evasion.
AFMA met 14 of the 16 treatment objectives associated with the five key priority risks.
Activities to monitor and treat quota evasion will continue in 2012-13.

1. In AFMA-managed fisheries, not including jointly and internationally managed fisheries.

2. Ecological Risk Assessments for 30 Commonwealth-managed fisheries and sub-fisheries have been completed covering 1184 species. The number of species estimated at high risk has decreased from that reported in 2009-10 due to the completion of higher level assessments and the application of residual risk guidelines. All species identified as being at high risk are the subject of mitigation measures. Further assessments are scheduled during the reporting period which may identify additional high risk species – because of the use of more precautionary reference points for shark species. Later assessments should reflect the outcome of mitigation measures.