Image of Torres Strait Islander Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence Holders with teatfish catch
Image courtesy of the Torres Strait Regional Authority and Michael Passi
Australian Fisheries

Traditional Inhabitant efforts lead to improved fishery management

Following the resounding success of the 2023 black teatfish fishing season, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) would like to acknowledge and thank Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence Holders for their efforts to provide timely and accurate data regarding their catch.

The 2023 black teatfish fishing season opened and closed in May, after the total allowable catch was caught in just three and a half days.

Torres Strait Islander Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence Holders have exclusive access rights to black teatfish, a high-value species of sea cucumber, which is estimated to be worth at least $380,000 to the local economy. The species is a vital source of income supporting livelihoods and the traditional way of life in the Torres Strait.

We use catch disposal records for fisheries in the Torres Strait to gather important data on the species caught. This includes the Torres Strait Beche-de-mer Fishery where black teatfish are caught during a limited fishing season with a total allowable catch of 20 tonnes.

In addition to the mandatory data provided by fishers, most catch disposal records also included valuable voluntary information such as the catch location and measures of fishing effort.

This additional data is crucial to the future management of black teatfish. Quality data in relation to how many fish are caught, the location, and method, helps ensure fisheries are well managed. This supports industry growth and operational flexibility. Without it, fisheries management decisions must be more precautionary.

We encourage fishers to provide as much information as possible concerning their daily catch and effort so that we can continue to strengthen and improve the management of all our fisheries. Any data collected via catch disposal records and logbooks is protected.

For more information regarding catch disposal records and logbook reporting for black teatfish, please contact our Thursday Island office via email, phone 07 4069 1990, or visit this webpage

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