Management advisory committees are statutory committees established by AFMA under section 56 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.
The committees provide advice to AFMA on the preparation of management arrangements, the operation of the relevant fishery and reporting to AFMA on scientific, economic and other information on the status of fish stocks, substocks, species (target and non-target species) and the impact of fishing on the marine environment. This advice is required to be evidence-based and address biological, economic and wider ecological factors affecting the performance of the fishery. Committee advice assists AFMA in its role to regulate commercial fishing in Commonwealth fisheries.
The membership of management advisory committees is available on AFMA’s website: afma.gov.au/fisheries/committees/.
The committee met twice in Sydney during 2015–16. The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable commercial catch limits for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery species. The committee also discussed the rules that could be simplified following the implementation of e-monitoring, the Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery over/undercatch Determination and the outcomes of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meetings.
The committee met once during 2015–16. It made recommendations to the AFMA Commission in relation to total allowable catches for quota species. In addition, the committee discussed research into western orange roughy stocks and future co-management arrangements for the fishery.
The committee met twice in Brisbane during 2015–16. At both meetings the committee discussed and made recommendations about improving management arrangements for the Northern Prawn Fishery. In particular the committee recommended changes to the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 to provide an autonomous mechanism for fishery restructure if fishing capacity becomes excessive through effort creep. The committee also made recommendations for minor improvements to the Plan that will simplify and bring it more in line with other fishery management plans.
During its second meeting for the period the committee also considered the current arrangements in place to manage the collection of prawn broodstock in the fishery and made recommendations about improving this process. At this meeting there was also discussion about the development of future co-management arrangements.
The committee met once in 2015–16 and discussed the outcomes of the 2015 meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Scientific Committee.
The committee also discussed monitoring arrangements in the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, the proposed 2015–16 observer program and the status of the 2015–16 Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery budget.
The committee held an out-of-session teleconference in 2015 to discuss the research outcomes from the 2015 Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Commission meeting and the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery research priorities for 2016–17 to 2018–19.
The committee met twice during 2015–16. It discussed and made recommendations to the AFMA Commission for the 2016 total allowable catch for commercial scallops in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. In the last few years the commercial fishery has operated between July to December, requiring decisions on total allowable catches to be made in the preceding financial year.
The committee also discussed closures to protect juvenile beds, holding an industry workshop to plan the annual biomass surveys, procedures to test for paralytic shellfish toxin and the 2016–17 budget.
The committee met seven times in 2015–16. It held four face-to-face meetings in Canberra, one face-to-face meeting in Melbourne and
The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches and effort controls for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, the Small Pelagic Fishery and the Southern Squid Jig Fishery. The committee also reviewed management arrangements and rebuilding strategies for several species.
Additionally the committee discussed the annual and strategic research plan, the review of trawl closures with respect to mid-water trawl fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery, simplifying access arrangements in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector, vessel management plans for boats in the Small Pelagic Fishery and a review of how the committee provides advice to AFMA.
The committee held two meetings in 2015–16, one in Hobart and one teleconference. It made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches for patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish and catch limits for bycatch species in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery. The Committee made total allowable catch recommendations for patagonian toothfish in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery.
The committee also discussed the outcomes of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources meeting and expressions of interest for exploratory fisheries for 2016–17.