The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) National Compliance Operations Policy aims to effectively deter illegal fishing Commonwealth fisheries and the Australian Fishing Zone.
To achieve this objective AFMA has released the National Compliance and Enforcement Program (the Program) for 2020-21, outlining how AFMA will deliver cost effective and efficient fisheries compliance services.
In 2020-21 the Program will focus on:
- compliance within Torres Strait Fisheries
- failure of Commonwealth Operators to report retention/interactions with threatened, endangered and protected species
- quota evasion or Commonwealth fishers not accurately reporting their catch
- bycatch mishandling
It is important that commercial operators familiarise themselves with the updated Program for 2020-21.
To ensure AFMA’s compliance efforts are targeted in the right areas an intelligence driven risk based approach will be applied under the 2020-21 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.