AFMA's response to the Australian Marine Conservation Society campaign seeking the rejection of the application for pair trawling in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery

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    11 July 2017

    Mr Darren Kindleysides
    Australian Marine Conservation Society
    PO Box 5815
    WEST END  QLD  4101

    Dear Mr Kindleysides

    The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) ran a campaign opposing mid-water pair trawling in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). Campaign emails were received during the public consultation period on mid-water pair trawling undertaken by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), between 22 December 2016 and 11 February 2017.

    Effective as of 10 May 2017, the AFMA Commission determined mid-water pair trawling as a permitted method in the SPF for an 18 month period, subject to conditions and review. At the end of the 18 month period, AFMA will decide whether or not mid-water pair trawling should be allowed to continue in the SPF in the long term.

    All boats operating in Commonwealth fisheries, including the SPF, are subject to Australia’s strict fisheries laws. The harvesting of fish in the SPF is governed by a quota management regime (e.g. total allowable catch) which ensures fish stocks are sustainably harvested.

    Pair trawling is currently permitted in a number of Commonwealth Fisheries. The process for determining quota limits will remain the same regardless of the approved fishing methods in the SPF. These will continue to be based on science and evidence.

    Despite being considered different methods under the SPF Management Plan 2009 (the Plan), mid-water pair trawling and mid‑water trawling both involve trawl gear designed to fish in the water column for, in this instance, the same species. Therefore, the conditions that will apply for mid-water pair trawling will be consistent, to the extent possible, to that for mid-water trawl operations in the SPF.

    More information regarding the Commission’s decision can be found on AFMA’s website

    This letter will be made available on the AFMA website at AFMA will not be responding directly to campaign correspondence arising from AMCS or affiliated websites.

    Yours sincerely

    Dr James Findlay

    Chief Executive Officer

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    Page last updated: 14/02/2023