Sunday is World Fisheries Day; it is a day for us to think about how important the ocean and our fisheries resources are to the world’s food supply, economies and the health of our environment.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) manages 22 Commonwealth fisheries found within the 8 million square kilometres of the Australian Fishing Zone. These fisheries span geographical zones from tropical northern waters to the icy Southern Ocean.
As Australians, we are fortunate to have an abundance of choice and a healthy supply of sustainable seafood for our plates.
AFMA is a world leader in sustainable fisheries management and using the best available science and robust evidence-based data is ingrained in the way we make our management decisions. Through well-established consultative forums, we work closely with stakeholders both to ensure our decisions benefit from different expertise and to remain accountable for their outcomes. In turn, the Commonwealth fishing industry has a great track record for responsible fishing in accordance with the rules we set.
However, our fisheries neither exist in isolation nor are immune to the challenges facing the world’s fisheries. A changing climate, fish stocks sustainability, marine debris and plastics and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are some of the challenges that face governments, scientists, researchers and the fishing industries around the world.
This year, AFMA’s ability to face these challenges was boosted by the Australian Government’s announcement of a $20 million investment into leading-edge data integration, monitoring and artificial intelligence to improve outcomes for Australia’s Commonwealth fishers and the environment
AFMA CEO, Wez Norris said the investments in the innovative ’E-fish‘ program will change the way we use data to support our decision making.
“Enhancements to our E-Monitoring program will enable us to continue to sustainably manage fisheries now and into the future, complimenting other tools such as our satellite-based vessel monitoring system which tracks the entire fleet of Commonwealth fishing boats in real-time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” said Mr Norris
In September, Australia hosted the World Fisheries Congress, attracting over a thousand people from across the world to come together to share ideas, research and first-hand experience on how they are tackling these challenges.
On World Fisheries Day, AFMA acknowledges the importance of continuing to working cooperatively with international and regional partners and recognises the work that people all around the world are doing to meet the challenges ahead to ensure healthy fisheries for current and future generations to enjoy.
Media contact media [at] afma.gov.au () or 0404 391 210