21 June 2018

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has recently amended the list of approved VMS units for use on Commonwealth nominated fishing vessels. Changes have been made to the approved list of VMS units to ensure they remain current and in line with the technology in the market.

One new unit has been added, and four older types of VMS units that no longer meet the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) approval standards, have been removed from the list and are subject to ‘grandfathering’.

New approved units

AFMA has recently added the following FFA type approved unit to the AFMA approved list:

  • CLS Triton ADV

‘Grandfathered’ units

VMS units no longer on the AFMA approved list that are now subject to ‘grandfathering’:

  • TT-3026D with 3036XP Terminal
  • TT-3026D Mini-C
  • TT-3026S Mini-C
  • TT-3022D

If you currently have a ‘grandfathered’ VMS unit installed and operating on a Commonwealth nominated vessel, you may continue to use them in accordance with AFMA’s VMS requirements.

When the VMS unit requires replacing, or should you wish to nominate a new boat to a Commonwealth concession, you will not be able to use or fit these units (including transferring second hand units between boats) and will need to purchase/fit one of the AFMA approved units.

What you need to know

  • As part of your requirements all VMS units installed on Commonwealth endorsed fishing vessels must be listed on the AFMA approved units.
  • A VMS unit must be fitted and working on boats nominated to Commonwealth fishing concessions at all times.
  • The VMS must stay on at all times – even if the boat is tied up in port, or out fishing under a State fishing permit or concession, or if you are doing repairs on your boat.
  • You can only switch off your VMS if you have prior written approval from AFMA.
  • It is your responsibility to fit and maintain a working VMS.
  • Failure to have a working VMS is an offence.