7 August 2013

The Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) has proposed to remove the ‘Native Point’ seasonal closure within Fog Bay.

The closure, launched in 2001, was based on advice from fishers that a closure should be established as a precautionary measure to protect small and spawning prawns in the bay. A scientific review of the closure, which is only in place for the first 28 days of the tiger prawn season, indicated that there is little need to maintain this closure.

Fisheries managers work closely with the fishing industry scientists to make sure that our fisheries are managed effectively. This includes reviewing spatial and temporal closures.

Following consultation with the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Advisory Committee, AFMA decided to remove the closure from the tiger prawn fishing season, commencing on 1 August 2013.

Industry remains confident that any small prawns will be protected as NPFI has a Code of Conduct which includes ‘move on’ provisions if an abundance of small prawns is detected. This approach has been successfully used in the past, including in the recent 2013 banana prawn season.

For more information please contact Fiona Hill, Manager Northern Prawn, Torres Strait Prawn and Western Trawl Fisheries, on 02 6225 5371 or email Fiona.hill@afma.gov.au.