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 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 Don.Bromhead@afma.gov.au.