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    Access right A right to carry out specified fishing activities.
    Annual Appropriation The amount of public monies authorised by Parliament for expenditure from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for a particular year.
    Australian fishing zone (AFZ) Waters adjacent to Australia and its external territories (excluding Torres Strait and the Antarctic Territories) which extend from defined baselines to 200 nm seawards, but not including coastal and excepted waters. Agreed boundaries apply where these zones intersect the 200 nm zones of other nations. Within the AFZ, Australia exercises jurisdiction over all fishing by Australian and foreign boats.
    Bilateral Agreement This is a Government-to-Government agreement between Australia and another nation allowing vessels of that nation to fish within the AFZ.
    Bycatch In its broadest sense, bycatch includes all living and non-living material (except for the target species) which is caught while fishing, including by-product, discards and that part of the catch which does not reach the deck but is affected by interactions with the fishing gear. For the purposes of the Commonwealth Bycatch Policy, bycatch is defined more narrowly as discards and that part of the catch which does not reach the deck but is affected by interactions with fishing gear.
    By-product Any part of the catch which is kept or sold by the fisher but which is not the target species.
    Competitive total allowable catch A total allowable catch (TAC) under which participants are not allocated a portion of the total catch limit but the catches from all participants are summed to ensure that the sum of all catches does not exceed that TAC.
    Danish seine Danish seine is a trawling method used by relatively small boats in shallow waters (up to about 200 m). Lengths of weighted ropes of up to 2800 m are laid out on the sea floor in a diamond pattern with the boat at one end of the diamond and the net at the other. As the boat moves forward the diamond becomes elongated, allowing the fish to be herded into the path of the net.
    Demersal fish Fish that are normally caught on the seabed.
    Demersal gillnets A mesh net, also known as a gillnet, tangle net or graball net, which is anchored to the seabed but kept upright by floats.
    Demersal line/hook fishing Fishing using a line and baited hooks in which weights hold the line on the sea floor so that the hooks are set close to the bottom.
    Demersal trawl Trawl gear designed to work on or near the sea bed. Such gear is used to take demersal species of fish and prawns.
    Discards Any part of the catch which is returned to the sea, whether dead or alive.
    Fishing capacity The amount of fishing effort that a fishing boat, or a fleet of fishing boats, could exert if utilised to its/their full potential.
    Fishing concession A Statutory Fishing Right, or a Fishing Permit or a Foreign Fishing Boat Licence granted under the provisions of the Fisheries Management Act 1991
    Fishing permit A fishing permit is a type of fishing concession granted under Section 32 of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to a person and authorising the use of a specified Australian boat by that person, or a person acting on that person’s behalf, for fishing in a specified area of the AFZ or a specified fishery for specified species using specified equipment.
    Handline A line to which one or more lures or baits are attached.
    Incidental catch Has the same meaning as non-target.
    Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) ITQs refer to individual portions of a TAC – units of quota – which allow the holder to catch that portion of the TAC each season. The weight value of the ITQs change proportionately to changes in the TAC set for a species each season. ITQs are fully tradeable and can be sold or leased to other persons.
    Input controls Restrictions placed on the amount of effort input into a fishery, e.g. by restricting types and size of fishing gear and boats and the amount of fishing time.
    Limited entry Management arrangements whereby only a fixed number of operators are allowed to fish in a particular fishery. New operators may only gain access to the fishery by purchasing an existing right.
    Longline fishing A method of fishing that can be either surface set (pelagic) or bottom set (demersal) line fishing. Both methods comprise a main line to which are attached branch lines, each fitted with one or more baited hooks or artificial lures.
    Mid-water trawling A form of trawling in which the net is off the sea bottom at all times. Such nets have large mouths and are used for targeting pelagic and semi-pelagic fish schools.
    Nautical twilight The beginning of morning nautical twilight is defined as the instant in the morning when the centre of the sun is at a depression angle of twelve degrees (12°) below an ideal horizon. The end of evening nautical twilight is defined as the instant in the evening when the centre of the sun is at a depression angle of twelve degrees (12°) below an ideal horizon. At these times in the absence of moonlight, artificial lighting or adverse atmospheric conditions, it is dark for normal practical purposes. For navigation purposes at sea, the sea horizon is not normally visible.
    Non-target species Any part of the catch, except the target species, and including bycatch and by-product.
    Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS) An agreement between the State(s) and the Commonwealth whereby the State or the Commonwealth (or in some cases a Joint Authority) is given jurisdiction for a particular fishery occurring in both coastal waters and the AFZ. When no OCS agreement has been reached the fishery remains under the jurisdiction of the State out to 3 nm, and the Commonwealth from 3 to 200 nm.
    Output controls Restrictions imposed on the quantity of fish that can be taken from a fishery within a specified period of time. This can be by either a competitive TAC or a TAC allocated to participants as ITQs.
    Pelagic fish Fish that are normally caught on the sea surface or in the water column.
    Pelagic longlining A fishing method that targets pelagic fish species. A pelagic longline comprises a mainline to which are attached branch lines, each fitted with one or more baited hooks or artificial lures. A pelagic longline is set so that the mainline, branch lines and hooks are suspended above the seabed by floats at the sea surface.
    Poling (pole-and-line fishing) A fishing method where fishers on a boat use a short fibreglass pole with a barbless lure or baited barbless hook attached to a short trace to hook and swing (pole) the targeted fish onto the boat.
    Purse seining A method used to capture schooling pelagic fish whereby an area of water is surrounded by a net set at the surface which is then “pursed” at the base to enclose that area from beneath.
    Quota (ITQ) management A method of management based on output controls whereby the TAC is allocated among eligible operators and allocated as shares in the annual TAC.
    Statutory Fishing Rights Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) are rights granted under Section 21 of the Fisheries Management Act 1991. The nature of SFRs in a fishery is detailed in the management plan which creates those rights. An SFR may be a right to use a boat, a unit of fishing gear, or a quantity of catch, or other rights as identified in the plan.
    Sustainable yield The average catch that can be removed from a stock over an indefinite period without causing further reduction in the biomass of the stock. This could be either a constant yield from year to year, or a yield that fluctuates in response to changes in abundance.
    Target species The most highly sought component of the catch taken by fishers.
    Torres Strait Protected Zone A region of the Torres Strait, established under the Torres Strait Treaty, in which Australia and Papua New Guinea each exercise sovereign jurisdiction for fish and sedentary species on their respective sides of agreed jurisdiction lines.
    Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority An Authority comprising the Commonwealth Minister for Resources (Chairperson) and the Queensland Minister for Primary Industry. The Authority is responsible for monitoring the condition of the jointly managed fisheries and for the formulation of policies and plans for their management.
    Torres Strait Treaty The Treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea concerned with sovereignty, management and maritime boundaries in the area between the two countries and the protection of the way of life and livelihood of traditional inhabitants and the marine environment.
    Tori poles A pole that has attached to it a main line from which streamers are hung at regular intervals to scare seabirds away from baits attached to a pelagic longline.
    Total Allowable Catch (TAC) A TAC represents the amount of fish of a particular species that can be taken from a fishery in prescribed period. TACs are set for fish species managed through ITQs.
    Trigger TAC A TAC which, when achieved, ‘triggers’ some form of management action being taken.
    Trolling A fishing method where lures or baits attached to lines are towed behind a slowly moving boat.


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    Page last updated: 17/02/2023