Torres Strait Prawn Fishery
The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Management Plan 2009 has recently made a number of amendments, which came into effect on 16 February 2017. Details of the amendments can be found here.
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.
This is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the Torres Strait with 907 tonnes of product valued around AUD$10 million taken in the 2008 fishing season.
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.
A Total Allowable Effort cap (TAE) restricts the number of days that can be fished each year.
From 2016, the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery fishing season will be 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.
A 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.
Video: Sustainable Trawling in the Torres Strait Prawn fishery
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
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|
|Torres Strait Fisheries – restriction on size of boats|
|Requirement for use of bycatch reduction devices|