Consultation on Tropical Rock Lobster Instrument Amendments

7 November 2018

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) invites stakeholders to comment on proposed amendments to the Torres Strait Fisheries (Tropical Rock Lobster) Management Instrument 2018 (the Instrument). 

On 25 October 2018, the PZJA reaffirmed its intention to implement a quota management system through the Torres Strait Fishery (Quotas for Tropical Rock Lobster (Kaiar)) Management Plan (the TRL Plan).

The PZJA also agreed to consult with stakeholders on amending the Instrument to implement catch shares between the traditional inhabitant and non-traditional inhabitant sectors for the 2018-19 fishing season.

The sectoral catch shares would be equal to the sectoral proportions that the TRL Plan would allocate once determined, with quota allocation against the licences held by the TSRA going to the TIB sector. The quota allocation process under the TRL plan involves several administrative steps and may take a minimum of 10 months to complete.

The PZJA will meet again in late November before the beginning of the TRL fishing season (which will open for free diving only on 1 December 2018). At this meeting the PZJA will make final decisions about the TRL Plan and about applying the sectoral catch shares whilst the quota allocation process under the TRL Plan is underway.  

The proposed amendments to the Instrument would allow AFMA to enforce sectoral catch shares from 1 December 2018 to 30 September 2019. The proposed changes include:

  1. Introduction of a TAC for the TIB sector. The TAC for the TIB sector would be 66.17 per cent of the Australian Industry share, and allowing for any changes to the percentage to be made in the event that additional licences are purchased by the TSRA or if there are any amendments to the catch share during the quota allocation process. 
  2. Introduction of a TAC for the TVH sector. The TVH TAC would be the remaining percentage of the Australian Industry share, once the TIB TAC has been taken into account.
  3. The ability to close commercial fishing to each sector when their respective TACs have been reached.  

These arrangements will only be in place for the upcoming TRL fishing season. If the quota allocation process has not been concluded prior to the opening of the 2019-20 TRL fishing season on 1 December 2019, the PZJA will consider further amendments to the Instrument prior to this date. 

View the current Torres Strait Fisheries (Tropical Rock Lobster) Management Instrument 2018 (PDF 660 KB).

View the proposed amendments to the Instrument, Torres Strait Fisheries Amendment (Tropical Rock Lobster) Management Instrument 2018 (PDF, 299 KB).

View the draft Torres Strait Fishery (Quotas for Tropical Rock Lobster (Kaiar)) Management Plan (PDF, 494 KB)

If you require further information in relation to, or assistance with, these documents please send an email to trlinfo [at] afma.gov.au

How to make a submission

All written submissions on the amendment to the Instrument must be received by AFMA by close of business on 19 November 2018. To ensure that submissions are considered appropriately prior to the PZJA meeting in late November, no extensions in time for submissions will be granted. Submissions can be sent to:

Email: trlinfo [at] afma.gov.au (preferred method)

Fax:    02 6225 5500

Post:   AFMA

            PO Box 376, Thursday Island,  QLD 4875, Australia

Please note that all written submissions will be made available to the public on the PZJA’s website.  This includes any personal information you provide as defined by the Privacy Act 1988.  If you do not wish for your submission or personal information to be published on the PZJA’s website, please notify us at the time you make your submission.