Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Western Australia will take over full jurisdiction for management of the Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fishery under an agreement with the Commonwealth aimed at streamlining arrangements for the former jointly-managed fishery.

The fishery has been managed on a day-to-day basis by WA under State legislation for many years and the new agreement will reduce the need for consultation with the Federal Government on management arrangements and remove the administrative processes of a Joint Authority.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) CEO, Dr James Findlay, said a jointly managed fishery was no longer needed, and a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will reduce red tape and administration.

“Together, AFMA and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are developing the MoU for shared fish stocks,” Dr Findlay said.

“The MoU will also put in place the framework to allow for more transparent and open sharing of information and data regarding fisheries resources.”

Heather Brayford, Deputy Director General for WA Fisheries, said Western Australia has a significant reputation for sustainably managing fisheries, and having a single manager for this fishery will be more efficient.

“The MoU will oversee the harvest strategies and catch sharing arrangements for these important fisheries resources,” Ms Brayford said 

“Western Australia highly values the Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fishery, which supports jobs and the supply of sustainable fish like bronze whaler and gummy sharks to local and interstate families via fish and chip shops, restaurants and fish retailers.”

Fast Facts:

  • The Southern Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fishery is within WA’s top ten fisheries, with GVP of $4.3 million in 2015/16 of and total catch of just over 1,000 tonnes.
  • The fishery targets whiskery shark, gummy shark and bronze whaler and also catches a range of scalefish species like queen snapper.
  • It plays a significant social and economic role in the regional centres of the State’s South Coast, by directly employing approximately 60 skippers and their crew.
  • The fishery also contributes to employment in fish processing facilities, the transport industry and local and national restaurants and fish shops.

Media contacts

DPIRD – Jodie Thomson – 0427 423 283

AFMA – Melanie Ryan – 0437 869 860