This page provides information for the petroleum industry on how to consult with the Commonwealth commercial fishing industry.

The Australian petroleum industry’s offshore activities include seismic surveys, exploration, drilling, pipeline construction and oil and gas production. Many of these activities occur in the same place where fishing occurs.

AFMA ensures that any broad-scale impacts of offshore petroleum industry development on commercial fishing in Commonwealth waters are considered. AFMA does this by providing comment directly to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on the annual acreage releases  and also by providing comment to petroleum companies on large scale proposals which may have a significant impact on a fishery.

All activities proposed by petroleum companies are subject to environmental approvals. Petroleum operators must submit an environment plan and an oil spill contingency plan to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). The environment plan must be accepted before any activity can begin.

The aim of an Environment Plan is to ensure petroleum activities are carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development. Operators are required to demonstrate the environmental impacts of petroleum activities are of an acceptable level and are reduced to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ in order for the activity to proceed. Additionally, the Environment Plan for a proposed project must demonstrate how the operator has consulted with relevant stakeholders, including government departments, fishing operators, fishing associations and the community, and how they have responded.

The aim of the Oil Spill Contingency Plan is for operators to demonstrate their capacity to respond to and maintain responsibility for a spill and to identify when and how the operator will involve stakeholders in a response.

Petroleum facility operators must also prepare an Emergency Response Plan as part of a facility safety system and are required to communicate this plan with any persons who have been identified as having a role.

Petroleum companies are encouraged to consult directly with fishing operators when preparing environment plans and oil spill contingency plans. An appropriate level of consultation with the fishing industry, is a legal requirement of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006, as administered by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

The level of consultation required is directly related to the type and scale of the activity and subsequent likelihood of impact on fishing.

Impacts on fishing from offshore petroleum activities can be through direct impacts on fish species and fish habitat (for example, infrastructure construction effect on reef substrate which may impact fish breeding), but can also be indirect through impacts on data collection for science (for example, impacts on long term surveys used to build fish population models that underpin management).

The spatial distribution and intensity of fishing operations can be highly variable over time and the only way to reliably determine future activity is by consulting relevant fishing operators. It should be noted that even if there has been low or no activity this does not mean that there will be none in the future (for example, fisheries can have “stock re-building strategies” which might include closing the fisheries for periods of time).

AFMA has a list of fishing industry association contacts for each fishery (where they exist).

If a petroleum activity occurs in the region of the 1974 Australian Indonesian Memorandum of Understanding (this boundary is also included on the AMSIS website), which allows traditional Indonesian fishing activities, the following advice may be relevant to risk assessments.

Traditional fishers can be found in any part of this area and in adjacent Australian water where they may stray from time to time.

Traditional vessels are only sail powered and therefore unable to readily take evasive action to avoid collision.

Few vessels carry navigational lights and they do not carry radar reflectors as general practice. The hulls are timber and present poor radar targets.

While peak activity for fishers is outside of the cyclone season some fishing is done throughout the year.

AFMA expects petroleum operators to consult directly with fishing operators about all activities and projects which may affect day to day fishing activities.

AFMA has a list of fishing industry association contacts (where they exist). In some fisheries there are no associations other than the Commonwealth Fisheries Association. Some fishing industry associations are developing fee-for-service models to identify fishing industry issues and liaise with the fishing sector. A number of private consultants are also active in this field.

It is important that the directory includes current contact information to ensure those who need to be consulted can be contacted. To update the list of fishing industry association contact details email petroleum [at] afma.gov.au.

Petroleum operators can access the names and addresses of individual Commonwealth statutory fishing rights, fishing permit and high seas permit holders from the statutory register by contacting AFMA Licensing on 1300 723 621.

Both Petroleum Title and Commonwealth Fisheries boundaries are publicly available information which can be located on the Australian Marine Spatial Information System (AMSIS) website. If these two maps are overlayed it is possible to find out which Fisheries overlap with a petroleum title. A set of instructions to assist with this can be downloaded:

AMSIS Tutorial – Petroleum Fisheries overlay (PDF, 1MB)

These fishing industry association contacts are for petroleum operators to use when consultation with fishing operators is required.

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Scallop Fisherman’s Association Inc.
PO Box 690
Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
Phone: 0418 144 173

Email: info [at] scallopvic.com.au

Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council (TSIC)
PO Box 878
Sandy Bay TAS 7006
Phone: 03 6224 2332
Email: tsic [at] tsic.org.au

Seafood Industry Victoria
Melbourne Seafood Centre

133 Kensington Road
West Melbourne VIC 3003
Phone: 03 9687 0673
Email: admin [at] siv.com.au

Coral Sea Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Norfolk Island Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Northern Prawn Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

The Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd
PO Box 756
Caloundra QLD 4551
Phone: 07 5437 0513
Email: ceo [at] npfindustry.com.au

WA Seafood Exporters
9-12 Hutton Street
Osborne Park WA 6071
Phone: 08 9444 6999

Northern Prawn Fishery (Qld) Trawl Association Inc.
PO Box 7105
Cairns QLD 4870
Phone: 07 4035 6399
Email: madang [at] ledanet.com.au

Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC)
GPO Box 618
Darwin NT 0801
Phone: 08 8981 5194
Email: ntsc [at] ntsc.com.au

North West Slope Trawl, Western Deepwater Trawl

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Western Australia Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC)
56 Marine Terrace
Fremantle WA 6160
Phone: 08 9432 7777
Email: admin [at] wafic.org.au

Small Pelagic Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA)
PO Box 1125
Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
Phone: 0428 141 591

Email: webenquiries [at] setfia.org.au

South and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA)
PO Box 1125
Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
Phone: 0428 141 591

Email: webenquiries [at] setfia.org.au

Great Australian Bight Fishing Industry Association Inc. (GABIA)
PO Box 3350
Port Lincoln SA 5606

Phone: 0428 233 200
Email: eo [at] gabia.com.au

Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative Society Ltd (LEFCOL)
PO Box 1125
Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
Phone: 03 5155 1688
Email: lefcol [at] lefcol.com.au

Sustainable Shark Fishing Inc.
C/O Caravilla Caravan Park
Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
Phone: 0488 002 898
Email: ssf5 [at] bigpond.com

Southern Shark Industry Alliance Inc.
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Website: https://gummyshark.com.au/

Southern Squid Jig

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Torres Strait Fisheries

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Tuna Australia (ETBF Industry Association)
PO Box 6 Civic Square

Canberra ACT 2608
Phone: 0427 837 966
Email:  CEO [at] tunaaustralia.org.au

Skipjack Tuna Fisheries

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA)
PO Box 1146
Port Lincoln SA 5606
Phone: 08 8682 3257
Email: sbt_research [at] bigpond.com

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
10 Warleigh Grove
Brighton VIC 3186

Phone: 0438 684 999
Email: ceo [at] comfish.com.au

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA)
PO Box 1146
Port Lincoln SA 5606
Phone: 08 8682 3257
Email: sbt_research [at] bigpond.com

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery

Austral Fisheries Pty Ltd
Po Box 42
Mt Hawthorn WA 6915

Phone: 08 9217 0100
Email: austral [at] australfisheries.com.au

Australian Longline Pty Ltd
PO Box 255
Rosny Park TAS 7018
Phone: 03 6244 2609

Email: admin [at] australianlongline.com.au

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

Austral Fisheries Pty Ltd
Po Box 42
Mt Hawthorn WA 6915

Phone: 08 9217 0100
Email: austral [at] australfisheries.com.au

Australian Longline Pty Ltd
PO Box 255
Rosny Park TAS 7018
Phone: 03 6244 2609

Email: admin [at] australianlongline.com.au