The Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2013 came into effect on 16 July 2013.
The Plan will provide Torres Strait Island communities greater certainty about future access to finfish resources. It formalises long-term management arrangements for the fishery and recognises the traditional way of life and livelihood of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal traditional inhabitants. It also promotes economic development which will help increase employment opportunities in the region.
For licence holders, this will not result in any immediate changes to the day to day operation of the fishery.
The current management arrangements for the Finfish Fishery as set out in Fisheries Management Instrument No 8 and Fisheries Management Notice No. 79 will still be in effect under the Plan.
The Plan allows for a quota management system in the future. This may be necessary if catches in the fishery significantly increase. However, the Protected Zone Joint Authority would consult with stakeholders on the use and implementation of a quota management system if this option were to be considered.
The Plan also supports participation in the fishery by non-traditional inhabitants through leasing arrangements. With the development of the Plan the fishery has undergone a Strategic Assessment where it was assessed against the Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries.
The assessment has shown that the fishery is being managed in an ecologically sustainable way.
The fishery has also been given further approval as a Wildlife Trade Operation which means that the fish caught can be exported.
All Torres Strait Finfish Fishery licence holders have been sent a copy of the Plan and the Explanatory Statement. Further copies of these documents are available below. If you wish to discuss any aspect of the Plan please contact the Torres Strait Fisheries Manager on (07) 4069 1990 or e-mail FisheriesTI@afma.gov.au.