Public comment is now open on an application to pair trawl (where two boats are used to fish using a midwater trawl net) in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). Submissions can be made at afma.gov.au and will close on 31 January 2017.
On 8 December 2016 AFMA received an application to pair trawl in the SPF for an initial period of 12 months. The SPF Scientific Panel considered the application at its meeting of 15-16 December and will be consulting with stakeholders on its draft advice at the SPF Stakeholder Forum on 24 January 2017.
The Stakeholder Forum will also consider research priorities and updated research to inform the SPF harvest strategy. Papers for the Stakeholder Forum and draft advice from the SPF Scientific Panel can be found at afma.gov.au.
Attendance at the Stakeholder Forum is by invitation only and will be held in Sydney. To request an invitation, you must register your interest by emailing your name, email address, phone number and organisation or affiliation to SPFConsultation@afma.gov.au by 10 January 2017. Please note that registration does not guarantee an invitation.
Unlike midwater trawling and purse seining, which are both approved under the SPF Management Plan, other fishing methods, including pair trawling, require AFMA to make a specific decision whether or not to allow them.
Commonwealth fisheries management decisions are made using the best available science and other evidence. This decision will be the same.
Below is the timetable for consultation before a final decision will be made by the independent AFMA Commission on whether or not to allow pair trawling in the Commonwealth SPF.
|22 December 2016||Papers available for Stakeholder Forum
Public comment opens on pair trawling application
|10 January 2017||Register of interest to attend Stakeholder Forum closes||afma.gov.au|
|24 January 2017||Stakeholder Forum in Sydney|
|31 January 2017||Public comment period on pair trawling application closes||afma.gov.au|