The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is undertaking a review of its Exploratory Fisheries policy and is seeking your comments.

Fisheries management policies are developed to support the legislative and regulatory framework for Commonwealth fisheries.

The draft Fisheries Management Paper 5: Exploration of Fish Resources provides information on the rights and obligations for operators wishing to establish and gain access to an exploratory fishery and aims to provide transparency and certainty for stakeholders involved in such a process and ensure that any exploratory fishing is conducting in an ecologically sustainable manner.

View the draft Fisheries Management Paper 5: Exploration of Fish Resources (PDF).

Key points of the draft policy are that it:

  1. Ensures that any exploratory fishing is conducting in an ecologically sustainable manner;
  2. allows exploratory fishing:
    • using different method(s); and/or
    • in new location(s); and/or
    • for new/unallocated or unexploited species/stocks.
  3. provides a flexible and cost-effective approach to gathering the information needed to determine if a long term fishery should be established;
  4. encourages broad stakeholder consultation through the Expert Advisory Panel and Register of Interested persons;
  5. introduces “feasibility fishing” to determine the economic viability of a fishery prior to deciding on the long term management arrangements for a fishery;
  6. provides cost efficient options for the ongoing management of low value fisheries (generally those with a GVP < $3m), including the grant of fishing permits; and
  7. only allows for Australian boats as defined by the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to operate under this policy.

Make a submission on the review of Fisheries Management Paper 5: Exploration of Fish Resources via AFMA's external public comment website.

Find the draft Fisheries Management Paper 5: Exploration of Fish Resources (PDF).

The consultation period closes 16 March 2020.