APPENDIX 3
Management advisory committee meetings and memberships

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 web page: http://www.afma.gov.au/fisheries/committees/

Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice in Canberra during 2016–17. 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 tuna fishery budgets, protected species issues
  • the development of an Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery management strategy and progress towards a revised Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery ecological risk assessment
  • overcatch provisions, electronic monitoring and outcomes of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meetings.

Great Australian Bight Trawl Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once in Adelaide during 2016–17. It made recommendations to the AFMA Commission in relation to total allowable catches for quota species. In addition, the committee discussed:

  • the complexities of managing western gemfish across the Great Australian Bight Trawl and Commonwealth Trawl Sector
  • the future management of bight redfish under Offshore Constitutional Settlement fisheries arrangements with South Australia.

Northern Prawn Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice in Brisbane during 2016–17. 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.

Southern Bluefin Tuna Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice in 2016–17 in Canberra and Port Lincoln. The committee discussed among other things the outcomes of various Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna meetings.

The committee also discussed monitoring arrangements in the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, the proposed 2016–17 observer program and the status of the 2016–17 Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery budget.

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice during 2016–17, once via a teleconference and once face to face in Melbourne.

The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission for the 2017 season on total allowable catch and closures in accordance with the harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. In the last few years the commercial fishery has operated between July and December, requiring decisions on total allowable catches to be made in the preceding financial year. The committee also provided advice regarding research priorities for the fishery.

South East Management Advisory Committee

The committee met three times in 2016–17, all of which were face-to-face meetings in Canberra.

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 considered and made recommendations regarding:

  • changes to the Small Pelagic Fishery and the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery harvest strategies;
  • the strategic and annual research plans for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, Small Pelagic Fishery and Southern Squid Jig Fishery, the Gillnet Dolphin Mitigation Strategy; and
  • the proposal to use the mid-water pair trawl method in the Small Pelagic Fishery.

Advice from individual management advisory committee members was sought regarding the Small Pelagic Fishery Dolphin Mitigation Strategy.

Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory Committee

The committee held two meetings in 2016–17, one meeting via teleconference and one meeting in Hobart.

The committee 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 also discussed the outcomes of the 2016 meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and expressions of interest for exploratory fisheries for 2017–18.