12 December 2017

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) acknowledges the publication of the article by the Fairfax media, Foreign boats set to fish in Australian waters, expert claims, by Nicole Hasham.

AFMA outright rejects any implication that deemed vessels are able to sit outside the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

We agree that it is, as the article states, “unsubstantiated scaremongering.”

The facts are, there is a very small number of vessels deemed for operation in Australia. The last time one was deemed was in 2015. AFMA has had discussions with a number of operators this year about deeming boats to be Australian across several fisheries.

When and if AFMA receives an application for a foreign boat to be deemed as Australian it will be assessed on its merits against legal and policy requirements. Any vessel to be deemed Australian would require Australian control over the vessel’s operations and must follow the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth fishery it will operate in, along with all of the other laws that fishing vessels are required to abide by. The application needs to demonstrate benefits to Australia.

Australia has some of the best managed fisheries in the world. For the fourth year running all of the solely Commonwealth managed fisheries have been assessed as not over fished.

We aim to maintain this status and global reputation so that Australians can be confident when they buy their wild caught seafood this Christmas that it’s from sustainable, well managed fisheries.