Catch allowance for the sunset licence sector of Torres Strait Finfish Fishery for the 2021- 22 season

3 August 2021

At its 28 January 2021 meeting the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) decided that the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery (TSFF) will be 74 tonnes for Spanish mackerel and 135 tonnes for coral trout. The PZJA decision was in line with advice from the Torres Strait Finfish Resource Assessment Group and Torres Strait Finfish Working Group.

Access to the TSFF is reserved for Traditional Inhabitants (the TIB sector) and fishers that lease sunset licences (the sunset sector) from the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA). Sunset licences may be held by non-traditional inhabitants and allow for a certain amount of catch to be taken. Each year since 2008-09 the TSRA, on behalf of traditional inhabitants, has leased these sunset licences (temporary transfers), with specified Spanish mackerel and coral trout catch amounts. Since 2017-18 TSRA have also leased catch allowances for other reef-line finfish species. Sunset licences are granted and varied by AFMA, as the PZJA licensing delegate.

For the 2021-22 fishing season, AFMA as PZJA licencing delegate, has approved the TSRA application for three sunset licences to be temporarily transferred (leased) with a total catch allowance across all licences of:

  • 50 tonnes of Spanish mackerel,
  • 25 tonnes of coral trout and
  • 6 tonnes of other reef-line finfish species across all licences.
2021-22 fishing season TACs and catch allowance by sector

Species

Agreed TAC

Sunset sector catch share

TIB sector catch share

Spanish mackerel

74

50

24

Coral trout

135

25

110

Other reef-line species*

n/a

6

No limit

 

AFMA will provide catch watch reports throughout the season to advise licence holders on reported catches against the TACs which are published on the PZJA website. If required, additional measures will be developed to ensure catches do not exceed the agreed TACs.

Read the letter sent to Finfish Fishery licence holders.