23 March 2016

Public comment is now closed.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is undertaking a review of its overcatch and undercatch policy and would like your input.

Catch quota is one of the fundamental tools used by AFMA to manage fisheries. AFMA sets total allowable catch or total allowable effort limits to ensure Commonwealth fisheries are sustainably managed.

However, fish availability and catch rates can be affected by external factors (for example the weather) and impact the ability of the commercial fishing industry to catch their quota. AFMA’s overcatch and undercatch policy provides flexibility to lessen the impact of external factors on an operator’s catching ability, by allowing quota holders to account for limited amounts of unused quota (undercatch) or above-quota catch (overcatch) from one fishing season to the next.

To manage undercatch and overcatch in fisheries AFMA follows the principles set out in the Fisheries Management Paper 10 – Managing undercatch and overcatch of quota–which was launched in 2003–and the Quota Administration Policy (QAP)–which was launched in 2013.

One of the actions arising from the QAP was for the overcatch and undercatch requirements to be reviewed from 2015. This review is now taking place and proposes three overarching options:

  1. keep the undercatch and overcatch provisions as they are
  2. change the current undercatch and overcatch provisions, including aligning current provisions to one uniform approach
  3. completely remove undercatch and overcatch percentage and/or overcatch weight determination.

AFMA invites interested stakeholders to have a say about the provisions and share your undercatch and overcatch experiences since the implementation of the QAP. Specifically, AFMA would like any new ideas and comments relating to the three provision options listed above.

Comments are sought by 16 May 2016 and can be sent to:

Email underovercatch [at] afma.gov.au
Post Undercatch and Overcatch review

Beth Gibson

Box 7051

Canberra BC



Feedback should include why any proposed changes will (or will not) be beneficial to the fisheries and the Australian public as a whole.