AFMA is involved in the management of several fisheries via joint authority arrangements with Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. These consist of finfish and shark fisheries off northern Australia and a shark fishery off the south-west coast of Australia.
The joint authorities consist of the Commonwealth and the state/NT ministers responsible for fisheries, who collectively oversee the strategic direction of the fisheries. Routine management of fisheries under joint authority jurisdiction is carried out by the relevant state/NT management in accordance with its relevant fisheries legislation. There are three fisheries joint authorities:
- Queensland Fisheries Joint Authority
- Northern Territory Fisheries Joint Authority
- Western Australian Fisheries Joint Authority.
AFMA participates in the management of the fisheries through an advisory role to the Commonwealth minister and through participation in the Northern Australian Fisheries Committee.
The Queensland Fisheries Joint Authority (QFJA) previously had responsibility for the management of the Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish Fishery, Line Fishery and Developmental Fin Fish Trawl Fishery in all waters adjacent to Queensland.
These fisheries are managed in accordance with the provisions of the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994.
In November 2021, the management of these fisheries was transferred to Queensland jurisdiction following agreement between the Commonwealth and State Fisheries Ministers. This means that there are currently no fisheries being under the authority of the QFJA.
The termination agreements for these fisheries are:
In 2023, a decision was made to streamline the reporting process of the QFJA with the annual report to be included as an appendix to the AFMA Annual Report.
The previous annual reports below provide details on the past activities of the QFJA as well as information on the status of the fisheries.
The Northern Territory Fisheries Joint Authority (NTFJA) has responsibility for the management of the following fisheries in all waters adjacent to the Northern Territory.
- Timor Reef Fishery.
- Demersal Fishery.
- Finfish Trawl Fishery.
- Offshore Net and Line Fishery.
These fisheries are managed in accordance with the provisions of the Northern Territory Fisheries Act 1988.
The relevant Offshore Constitutional Settlement agreements for these fisheries are the:
- Arrangement Between the Commonwealth and NT for the Demersal and Timor Reef Fishery.
- Arrangement Between the Commonwealth and NT for the Northern Shark Fishery.
In 2023, a decision was made to streamline the reporting process of the NTFJA with the annual reports from 2022–23 onwards to be included as an appendix to the AFMA Annual Report.
Minutes of NTFJA meetings prior to 2022 can be found in the relevant annual reports.
Previous reports below provide details on the past activities of the NTFJA as well as information on the status of the fisheries.
The Western Australian Fisheries Joint Authority (WAFJA) has responsibility for the management of the following fishery in waters adjacent to Western Australia.
- Northern Shark Fishery.
These fisheries are managed in accordance with the provisions of the Western Australian Fish Resources Management Act 1994.
On 6 August 2018, the OCS between WA and the Commonwealth was amended to provide for the transition of the Joint Authority Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Managed Fishery to sole WA jurisdiction, which commenced 1 December 2018.
The relevant Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS) agreement for these fisheries are the:
- Arrangement Between the Commonwealth and WA for the Northern Shark Fishery.
- Amendment to the WA/Commonwealth OCS and termination of the Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Managed Fishery.
In 2023, a decision was made to streamline the reporting process of the WAFJA with the annual reports from 2022/23 onwards to be included as an appendix to the AFMA Annual Report.
WAFJA minutes 2022
Minutes of WAFJA meetings prior to 2022 can be found in the relevant annual reports.
Previous annual reports below provide details on the past activities of the WAFJA as well as information on the status of the fisheries.
The Northern Australian Fisheries Committee (NAFC) is a government officials group representing the Western Australian, Northern Territory, Queensland and Commonwealth agencies responsible for the management of commercial fishing. The NAFC meets on an annual basis to consider shared issues of fisheries management, research and compliance across Northern Australia.
The terms of reference for NAFC are to:
- facilitate the sustainable management of northern fish stocks
- promote cohesive, efficient and cost effective management
- promote, where appropriate, the development of an ecosystem-based approach to management and allow for adaptive management
- ensure clarity and transparency in arrangements
- promote user friendly management to reduce administration and compliance costs for fishers
- undertake regular reviews of the management arrangements in light of developments in fisheries, fisheries management, scientific data and ecosystem influences.
The NAFC Strategic Plan outlines the Committee’s vision of the success to be achieved in northern fisheries management by 2022 and identifies a series of shorter-term objectives and strategies for achieving that vision.
The most recent NAFC meeting was held in Canberra in November 2014. A summary of this meeting will be available shortly. A summary of discussions of the previous meeting held in October 2013 are available in the Chair’s Summary.
Inter-sessional work on priority tasks is undertaken by the Northern Australian Fisheries Managers (NAFM) group. This group operates by reference from NAFC and consists of fisheries managers and scientists from the abovementioned jurisdictions. This group meets on an as needs basis. The last meeting was held in February 2011 with a focus on management approaches for shared shark stocks.
Further information can be obtained by contacting the NAFC Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org.