An industry initiative has led to a Mackerel jigging trial in 2013-14. Last year, AFMA was approached by a squid operator hoping to modify his current squid jig operation to investigate the viability of jigging for mackerel in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF).
Following consultation with SPF advisory committees and the AFMA Commission, AFMA have allowed the trial of jigging for small pelagic fish species until 1 May 2014.
AFMA will evaluate the information gained throughout the trial and may introduce longer term arrangements if the method is demonstrated as a sustainable and economic method for harvesting small pelagic species.
Any operator wishing to use jigging in the SPF will need to hold quota for the target species and must also carry an AFMA observer to monitor the operation during the trial period.
Jigging is used to target small pelagic species in fisheries worldwide. It is also commonly used in association with purse seine or mid-water trawl fishing to confirm the species and size of fish in a school.
Jig-caught fish can also potentially attract a higher market price due to the superior quality of the fish caught this way and expand the market opportunities for species such as Blue Mackerel.
Do you have other similar innovative ideas for any fishery that could improve efficiency and cost effectiveness of fishing operations? If so, AFMA would love to hear from you!
For further information please contact Kylie Tonon, SPF Management Officer on 02 6225 5373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.