11 July 2017

Ms Nicola Beynon
Head of Campaigns
Humane Society International Australia
PO Box 439
AVALON   NSW  2107

Dear Ms Beynon

The Humane Society International Australia (HSI) ran a campaign opposing mid-water pair trawling in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). Campaign emails were received during the public consultation period on mid-water pair trawling undertaken by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) between 22 December 2016 and 11 February 2017.

Effective as of 10 May 2017, the AFMA Commission determined mid-water pair trawling as a permitted method in the SPF for an 18 month period, subject to conditions and review. At the end of the 18 month period, AFMA will decide whether or not mid-water pair trawling should be allowed to continue in the SPF in the long term.

All boats operating in Commonwealth fisheries, including the SPF, are subject to Australia’s strict fisheries laws. The harvesting of fish in the SPF is governed by a quota management regime (e.g. total allowable catch), which ensure fish stocks are sustainably harvested.

Pair trawling is currently permitted in a number of Commonwealth fisheries. The process for determining quota limits will remain the same regardless of the approved fishing methods in the SPF. Science and evidence will continue to be the basis of AFMA’s decision making.

Despite being considered different methods under the SPF Management Plan 2009 (the Plan), mid-water pair trawling and mid‑water trawling both involve trawl gear designed to fish in the water column for, in this instance, the same species. Therefore, the conditions that will apply for mid-water pair trawling will be consistent, to the extent possible, to that for mid-water trawl operations in the SPF.

More information regarding the Commission’s decision can be found on AFMA’s website www.afma.gov.au/midwater-pair-trawling-commonwealth-spf/.

This letter will be made available on the AFMA website at www.afma.gov.au. AFMA will not be responding directly to campaign correspondence arising from HSI or affiliated websites.

Yours sincerely

Dr James Findlay

Chief Executive Officer