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    The TSPF Handbook 2016 has been updated this year and renamed the TSPF Management Arrangements Booklet (MAB), to reflect changes to the fishery harvest strategy as well as the list of allowable bycatch reduction devices.

    About the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery

    The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (TSPF) is a multi-species prawn fishery (Endeavour, tiger and king prawns) that operates in the eastern part of the Torres Strait.

    Brown Tiger prawn (Penaeus esculentus) and the Blue Endeavour prawn (Metapenaeus endeavouri) are the key target species. The Red Spot King prawn (Melicertus longistylus) is essentially a by-product species.

    Prawn harvesting occurs at night, primarily using the otter trawl (quad) method which involves towing four trawl nets behind a boat. The TSPF has restrictions on the type of gear and boat that can be used during fishing.

    Total Allowable Effort cap (TAE) restricts the number of days that can be fished each year.

    Fishery Map

    Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Map

    From 2016, the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery fishing season has been from 1 February to 1 December (formally 1 March to 1 December). This is following a decision of the PZJA in 2015. 

    The TSPF is managed through the Torres Strait Prawn Fisheries Management Plan 2009 (the plan). The objectives of the plan are:

    • To ensure the optimum utilisation of the fishery resources within the TSPF is consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle.
    • To promote economic efficiency in the utilisation of the fisheries resources within the TSPF.
    • To ensure cooperative, efficient and cost effective management of the fishery.
    • To manage the fishery’s interactions with the marine environment including the incidental capture of non-target species and impacts on demersal habitats.

    Harvest Strategy for the TSPF was developed by PZJA Agencies and introduced in 2011. The Harvest Strategy provides a framework and control rules for management decisions within the fishery. The Harvest Strategy will ensure management is more transparent and logical and the fishery meets pre-defined ecological and economic goals. A copy of the harvest strategy can be found below.

    See how prawns from the pristine Torres Strait in northern Australia get from the ocean onto your plate. See some devices used to reduce bycatch and prevent the capture of marine turtles. The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery is dedicated to using sustainable fishing practices to protect the environment. This video was an initiative of the Torres Strait Prawn Management Advisory Committee.

    Fisheries Management Instruments outline the rules and regulations in fisheries in addition to the rules within the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Management Plan 2009 and Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984. A list of current instruments is in the table below. The instruments can be found on the PZJA website.

    Fisheries Management Notice No.Name
    47Torres Strait Fisheries – restriction on size of boats
    82Requirement for use of bycatch reduction devices



    Fisheries Management Instrument No.Name
    2Torres Strait Prawn Fishery – Prohibition on taking Prawns and carrying equipment (exclusion zones)
    4Torres Strait Prawn Fishery – Prohibition on taking Prawns by Papua New Guinea boats
    10Torres Strait Prawn Fishery - prohibitions to fishing without a license
    11Torres Strait Prawn Fishery - fishery closures (season dates)
    12Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Turtle Excluder Device
    17Torres Strait Fisheries Management Instrument number 17


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    Page last updated: 17/07/2024