3 September 2019

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) National Compliance and Enforcement Program (the Program) for 2019-20 is available on the AFMA website.

In 2019-20 the Program will focus on quota evasion or Commonwealth fishers not accurately reporting their catch, as well as, failure to report retention/interactions with threatened, endangered and protected species and bycatch mishandling. There will also be a focus on compliance within Torres Strait Fisheries (TSF), after AFMA took on this role in in July 2018.

It is important that commercial operators familiarise themselves with the revised Program and the consequences of breaching the rules and regulations.

AFMA’s compliance program is a pivotal part of Commonwealth fisheries management and to ensure AFMA’s compliance efforts are targeted in the right areas an intelligence driven risk based approach will be applied under the 2019-20 program. The program aims to make things easy for those who want to comply and target those who do not.

AFMA’s comprehensive monitoring framework including Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), electronic monitoring 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.

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 reviews the National Compliance and Enforcement Program every year.  The program provides Australian seafood consumers with confidence that seafood purchased from a Commonwealth managed fishery is legally and sustainably caught.

Download the 2019-20 National Compliance and Enforcement Program on AFMA’s website.