AFMA has developed protected species management strategies and commercial fish species rebuilding strategies where concerns have been identified about the impact of commercial fishing on their sustainability.

AFMA has developed protected species management strategies for Australian sea lions, dolphins and upper slope dogfish which outline management arrangements to minimise the impact of fishing on these species. The strategies involve unique management arrangements tailored to reducing interactions with each species. Arrangements can include things such as area closures, gear restrictions, monitoring requirements or trigger limits.

Commonwealth longline fisheries are also covered by the Seabird threat abatement plan.

Note: The Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy was implemented in 2012 in response to the conservation needs of four species of upper slope dogfish. These species have undergone significant population declines in south-eastern Australia as a result of fishing pressure.

AFMA conducted a review of the Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy between 2019 and 2021. There were no significant changes identified to be made to the strategy. To inform the review, AFMA sought advice from scientific experts, the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), AFMA’s consultative committees (SESSFRAG, SEMAC, GABRAG and GABMAC) and the general public.

A research project to establish the baseline index of abundance has been funded and commenced in September 2022. This project will provide a baseline from which to measure recovery of the stocks moving forward.

For overfished stocks, AFMA ensures that targeted fishing ceases and develops a rebuilding strategy to rebuild the stock to above its limit reference point, in consultation with stakeholders, fisheries and environment Ministers as relevant. A rebuilding strategy will continue to be required until the stock is above the limit reference point with a reasonable level of certainty. Adequate monitoring and data collection is put in place to assess the status of the stock and rebuilding progress and to satisfy requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999Incidental mortality on overfished stocks should be constrained as much as possible to levels that allow rebuilding to above the limit reference point within the specified timeframe.

A rebuilding strategy must include performance measures and detail on how and when these measures will be reported on. Where there is no evidence that a stock is rebuilding or is going to rebuild in the required timeframe, AFMA will review the rebuilding strategy and make the result of the review public. If changes to the rebuilding strategy are considered necessary, such changes must be made in a timely manner.

Current rebuilding strategies:

Five-year strategy reviews (December 2019)

Annual review of catch and effort data

Report: An investigation of the bycatch of rebuilding species in the SESSF (PDF, 3.6MB)