Three AFMA Compliance Officers inspect a fishing net
26 August 2021

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) manages Commonwealth fisheries on behalf of the Australian public. This includes effectively deterring illegal fishing, with strict management rules and regulations, to ensure Australian fish stocks and our fishing industry are viable now and into the future. 

Each year AFMA’s National Compliance Team takes a risk-based approach, through its National Compliance and Enforcement Program, to deliver cost effective and efficient compliance services. 

The 2021-22 National Compliance and Enforcement Program (the Program), has launched and outlines how AFMA will deliver cost effective and efficient fisheries compliance services.  

The Program aims to simplify processes for fishers and operators wanting to comply with the rules and target those who do not. In 2021-22 the Program will focus on: 

  • Failure to record discards 

  • Quota evasion  

  • Domestic Vessels landing Catch in Foreign Ports, 

  • Torres Strait Fisheries 

It is important that commercial operators familiarise themselves with the updated Program for 2021-22.  

AFMA’s comprehensive monitoring framework, including Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), electronic monitoring (EM), surveillance programs and catch reporting, will continue to provide early identification of potential issues and infringements. 

To assist commercial operators in staying up the date with the latest compliance messages, information is published on AFMA’s website and Facebook page.  

AFMA will also directly send reminders on specific issues to individual concession holders via SMS message. 

Fisheries officers will continue to conduct regular port inspections and provide operators with advice and assistance to help ensure they understand their legal obligations. This will also provide the opportunity to discuss and clarify any issues and discuss how AFMA can streamline and improve processes. 

AFMA tracks compliance with the Program and each year undertakes a review to understand requirements to change targets or compliance focus. The National Compliance and Enforcement Program is an integral part of AFMA’s domestic compliance operations and aims to provide Australian seafood consumers with confidence that seafood purchased from a Commonwealth managed fishery is legally and sustainably caught. 

Download the National Compliance and Enforcement Program 2021-22 (PDF, 3.2MB) on AFMA’s website.