Mid-water pair trawling in Commonwealth SPF

The independent AFMA Commission approved the determination of mid-water pair trawling as an approved fishing method in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) until October 2018, subject to conditions and review.

Like all fishing operations in Commonwealth managed fisheries, any mid-water pair trawling operation will be subject to strict rules and conditions.

This decision was made after considering the best available science and data and taking into account advice sought from:

  • the South East Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC)
  • SPF Scientific Panel
  • SPF Stakeholder Forum
  • marine mammal and seabird experts
  • other interested stakeholders, as part of a public comment period.

Further detail on the Commission’s decision regarding mid-water pair trawling and summary of comments received during public consultation can be found on

AFMA must, by law, make science-based decisions and is required to pursue the objectives in the Fisheries Management Act 1991. These include ensuring that fishing is consistent with ecologically sustainable development, maximising the net economic returns to the Australian community and optimal utilisation of the living resources of the Australian Fishing Zone.

More information about the SPF can be found on the SPF FAQ page.

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