Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Fisheries Officers inspected the FV Antarctic Chieftain at the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, and the FV Antarctic Discovery in Hobart, Tasmania, in accordance with the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) inspection program.
FV Antarctic Chieftain had just completed a four-month trip in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery (HIMI) and FV Antarctic Discovery had returned from a two-and-a-half-month fishing trip in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery, both targeting Patagonian toothfish.
During the inspection, officers weighed the catch unloaded from both vessels, and checked their compliance with CCAMLR Conservation Measures, including the submission of logbooks, fishing gear, mitigation devices, marking of the vessel, and gear and measures in place to ensure zero offal discard. There were no compliance breaches detected with either fishing vessel during the inspections.
Australian operators targeting toothfish are subject to strict fisheries management rules, including the requirements to limit catch under the quota system, collect data through logbooks, limit the impact of fishing on the marine environment, and carry an AFMA Observer and an independent government-approved Data Collection Officer on each fishing trip. The movements of each vessel are also monitored through satellite trackers that have been installed by AFMA.
Fishing vessels in the Antarctic fisheries spend up to four months at sea and are routinely inspected by AFMA Fisheries Officers upon their return.
Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a highly prized fish caught in the sub-Antarctic region of the Indian and Southern Oceans. The species is managed at the international level through CCAMLR.
AFMA manages the Macquarie Island fishery in a complementary manner to the CCAMLR requirements despite being in waters adjacent to the CCAMLR-managed area.