|INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN AUSTRALIA|
The main fishery landing sites in Australia are Cairns (Queensland), Lakes Entrance (Victoria), Darwin (Northern Territory), Perth (Western Australia), Port Lincoln (South Australia) and Eden (New South Wales). However estimated landings by principal site are not available owing to the method of data collection in Australia.
fisheries production (excluding aquaculture) by State are available and,
in 2000/01, were as follows:
* Totals adjusted to take into account tuna captured in Commonwealth fishery as an input to farms in South Australia.
Australian fisheries resources within the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) are managed under both Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation. Under the Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS) the Commonwealth has jurisdiction over foreign fisheries, offshore fisheries or fisheries extending to waters adjacent to more than one state or territory or fisheries by agreement with individual States.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) manages all Commonwealth fisheries under the following essential objectives of the Fisheries Management Act 1991. The objectives of this Act are:
The approach taken by the Australian Government is to develop, where feasible, all fisheries within the AFZ. Because of the paucity of highly productive cool waters, industrial fishing is limited. Development of a range of domestic fisheries, based on tropical to sub-Antarctic species, has been encouraged instead of foreign fisheries. Major fisheries managed by the Commonwealth through AFMA include the Northern Prawn Fishery, Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, South East Trawl Fisheries, Southern Shark Fishery, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and South East Non-trawl Fishery. Other major fisheries such as rock lobster, scallops and abalone are managed under state jurisdiction. Landing facilities, except for most port infrastructure, and processing facilities are owned and operated by the private sector.
At both the State and the Commonwealth level, management is highly participatory with various joint Industry/Government bodies being established to advise on fisheries management issues. These bodies also often include community, indigenous and/or conservation representatives. Specific management strategies used by AFMA and the States are based on publicly available Fishery Management Plans that have been developed through these various Management Advisory Committees and Consultative Committees.
The management of recreational fisheries is wholly performed by the States with Federal management organizations only addressing commercial fishing.
following organizations are involved in management and supporting services
at the Federal (i.e. national) and State level:
State and territory fisheries agencies have similar types of management strategies, with emphasis on Fishery Management Plans. These plans, on a fishery-specific basis, identify objectives, describe fishing concessions (i.e., statutory fishing rights, ITQs, fishing permits and foreign fishing licenses), allocation procedures and detailed rules governing fishers. The main management methods covering recreational and commercial fishing are: input controls (e.g., gear restrictions, limited entry licenses, area and seasonal closures); output controls (TAC, ITQs, bag limits and size limits); and measures for species and habitat protection.
The policy of 'cost-recovery' or 'user pays' is also common within Australia's fisheries management regime and requires that the users of the resource (usually fishers) pay the full cost of supporting management, compliance etc in for their fisheries. These costs are reflected in license, or access, fees charged and consequently, these fees are often substantial.
policy is already in place for most major fisheries and for some minor
fisheries administered by both Commonwealth and most, but not all, State
authorities. The impact of this policy is that supporting Government services
such as research and compliance are well focussed to fishery needs, are
delivered efficiently and are appropriate. Joint Government/industry Advisory
Committees have a major role in determining the level of services each
MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES, MEASURES AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR MAJOR FISHERIES
Since the late 1990s, legislative changes at both Commonwealth and State level have established the principles of (ESD) as a cornerstone policy for fisheries management and development in Australia. As a result, the ESD basis of most legislation now requires a focus on not only sustainable management of the target species, but also a more broadly based ecosystem management approach. This includes an assessment and management of issues such as by-catch reduction, impacts on rare or endangered species etc.
Recent implementation of changes to Australia's Environmental legislation now requires fisheries to be approved by the Commonwealth Environment agency before export permits for their products are issued. This has resulted in an increasing number of fisheries specifically addressing and documenting how their management practices address ESD issues.
Specific management objectives and strategies used by in Australia's major fisheries are available in public documents that have been prepared in broad and extensive consultation between the Government, industry and the general community including conservation and recreational fishing groups. These documents, usually known as Fishery Management Plans are fisheries-specific and are subject to regular (usually each 5 years) review. Management Plans for all fisheries are available in both hardcopy and usually electronically on the managing agency's website. The Management Plans address specific management objectives, compliance and research support, allocation issues, impacts of fishing and also elaborate in detail the methods by which the objectives will be achieved during the life of the Management Plan. These methods address access arrangements, Total Allowable Catch and Individual Transferable Quotas, vessel numbers, technical measures etc.
Key features of the Management Plans for major fisheries are as follows:
main fisheries described below are managed under AFMA. These fisheries
are annually evaluated against achieving objectives 2, 3, 4 above using
information gathered from logbooks and by research providers such as Commonwealth
Scientific and Industry Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Bureau of
Resource Science (BRS).
(a) Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF)
fishery is managed by the Commonwealth through AFMA under the Fisheries
Management Act 1991. It is Australia's largest shrimp fishery, with
catches in 2001 of 9, 700 t worth approximately $AUD 165 million.
Performance of selected measures
(b) The Western Rock lobster Fishery
This is Australia's largest fishery and one of the major rock lobster fisheries of the world. Catches in 2001 were 11, 300 t worth approximately $AUD 300 million.
Current management strategies are aimed at:
Performance Against selected Measures
(c) South East Trawl Fishery (SEF)
This fishery is managed by the Commonwealth through AFMA under the Fisheries Management Act 1991. It is a major fish trawl industry based in the south east part of Australia with landings in 2001 being 29, 300 t, worth an estimated $AUD 65 million.
(d) Eastern tuna and billfish fishery
This fishery is a major pelagic fishery, centered in eastern Australia. Production in 2001 was 8,000 t worth approximately $AUD 70 million.
Performance of selected measures
(e) Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBT)
This fishery is not only an important fishery for a high value species but the species is also taken to support the major tuna farming industry in South Australia. Management is multi-national and involves operating through the International Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna. There is considerable concern at the very low abundance of the breeding stock for this species. Catches in Australian waters in 2001 were 5, 300 t worth approximately $AUD 62 million.
Performance of selected measures
Aquaculture is currently managed primarily by State and Territory agencies. National co-ordination of policies and management are effected through the 1994 National Strategy on Aquaculture and the 1999 Code of conduct for Australian Aquaculture will form the basis for future growth of Australia's aquaculture industry.
INVESTMENTS IN FISHERIES
Because of the strictly managed and limited entry nature of many of Australia's major fisheries, fisheries are generally profitable. In addition, there is considerable confidence in the long-term sustainability of the major resources as a result of this strict and consistent management regime.
As a result, asset values of the tradable access rights (or licenses) to these fisheries have acquired considerable market value and, in many cases, represent the largest part of total invested assets in fishing enterprises. More importantly, the asset value of access rights continue to grow strongly and is resulting in both a concentration of ownership and economic barriers to new entrants in some of the major fisheries.
Although Australia has more than 9000 fishing boats, the majority of which are under 10 metres, these represent a small investment in the fishing enterprise. Most fisheries operate with small vessels which are owner-operated although major fisheries such as the various shrimp fisheries, the western rock lobster fishery, the North West Slope Trawl Fishery, the South East Fishery, and sub-Antarctic fishery have much larger vessels with significant investment by larger companies. Data on levels of investment in Australian fisheries is limited.
MAIN FISHERIES REGULATIONS
The regulation of fisheries in Australia is based on various Commonwealth and State Fisheries, Environmental and other Acts. In addition, Regulations are issues under these Acts to provide the mechanisms for administering fisheries in Australia.
Key Australian fisheries legislation at the Commonwealth level are:
In addition, all State and Territory Governments have legislation and regulations that govern the management of fisheries that come under their control.
PROJECTIVE DEMAND AND SUPPLY
The present trends in Australia's seafood consumption suggest a shortage of supply by 2025 that will require an increase in aquaculture production as a global shortage of seafood will limit Australia's imports.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL FISHERIES AUTHORITY
Fisheries are administered at the Commonwealth level by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, who work in collaboration with Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia (AFFA) in developing overall fisheries policy. Environment Australia also has significant input into ESD issues related to fisheries management in Australia.
In addition, all State and Territory Governments have well developed fisheries management, administration, compliance and research infrastructure and are responsible for managing the various fisheries that come under their jurisdiction.
structure of AFMA is shown in the following diagram:
Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) http://www.aims.gov.au/
Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) http://www.afma.gov.au/