5 December 2017

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media release

A new mandatory fish receiver system (FRS) came into effect on Friday 1 December 2017 for all commercial fishers in all Torres Strait fisheries, excluding prawns.

The FRS is to provide accurate and timely information on catches from Torres Strait fisheries. The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will use the information collected to support the management of Torres Strait fisheries.

The Torres Strait fish receiver system starts from today, 1 December 2017

Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) Torres Strait Manager, Selina Stoute, said that AFMA had visited many communities across the Torres Strait throughout the process.

“We have worked with industry, providing information and assistance to communities in the lead up to the start of the FRS,” Ms Stoute said.

“Industry across the region has shown strong support and many people recognise the critical role good data plays in the sustainable management of fisheries.

“To help Torres Strait fishers transition to the FRS, AFMA offered a one-time funding opportunity of up to $4 000 for fisher associations or community fishing groups able to assist local fishers with the implementation of the FRS.

“Under the FRS, all licenced commercial fishers are required to unload their catch to a licenced fish receiver, and licenced receivers are only permitted to receive product from a licenced fisher.

“The fish receiver must complete a catch disposal record (CDR), which includes data such as the species and weight of the catch, and a copy is then submitted to AFMA within three days of unloading.”

The mandatory FRS was agreed to by the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA), following consultation with the fisheries working groups and through a formal Native Title notification process.

AFMA will continue to work with industry and AFMA officers will visit Torres Strait communities again in 2018. They will work directly with fish receivers to ensure those involved are familiar with the FRS requirements.

For more information on the Torres Strait fish receiver system and to apply to become a fish receiver, please visit pzja.gov.au.