Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Direction No. BSCZSF 02 - Area Closures

Authoritative Version
Directions/Other as made
Closure of Fishery.
Administered by: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Registered 16 Jun 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR20-Jun-2005
Tabled Senate20-Jun-2005
Date of repeal 19 Jul 2013
Repealed by Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2013


Issued by the authority of the Managing Director, Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Fisheries Management Act 1991
Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002

Direction No. BSCZSF 02


The proposed Direction would be a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

Subsection 17(5A) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (the FMA) provides that a plan of management made under the FMA may provide for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to direct that fishing is not to be engaged in in the fishery, or a particular part of the fishery, during a particular period or periods. The subsection also requires that the directions be made after such consultations (if any) as are set out in the plan of management.

Subsection 23(1) of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 (the Plan) provides that AFMA may direct that fishing is not to be engaged in in the fishery, or a part of the fishery, during a stated period.

Subsection 23(2) of the Plan provides that in giving directions, AFMA must ensure that the requirements (if any) set out in the Regulations for the purposes of this subsection are met. Regulation 9 requires that at all times at least one bed of scallops in the east and at least one bed of scallops in the west of the fishery must be closed to fishing, and that fishing must be prohibited in a bed of scallops if greater than 20% of commercial scallops are smaller than the minimum size (90mm).

The fishery

The principal target species in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF) is the commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus). The principal harvest method is by a scallop harvester (or dredge).

As a result of overfishing and a severe decline in catch in 1998 the fishery was closed to fishing in 1999 and 2000. To increase the probability of stock recovery, in 2001 AFMA introduced decision rules which required that at least one area in the east and west of the fishery be closed to fishing. These decision rules were subsequently incorporated into the management plan and regulations for the fishery. There has been a closure of the known scallop beds (or part of these beds) in the eastern part of the fishery since 2001. Scientific surveys undertaken in the area of the eastern closure since 2000 have provided evidence of stock rebuilding, but there has not been a full recovery.

No closure has previously been recommended in the west of the fishery due to a lack of recent information on scallop stocks in that area – no fishing has been undertaken there since 1997, and there have been no fishery-independent surveys. However it is necessary for AFMA to implement a closure to ensure the fishery operates in accordance with the Plan.

Regulation Impact Statement

The Office of Regulation Review (ORR) advised AFMA that a Regulation Impact Statement was not required for Directions relating to seasonal and area closures in the fishery (ORR ID 7026).


AFMA’s management philosophy (as foreshadowed in its governing legislation) involves a partnership approach to the management of marine resources under its jurisdiction. Cooperation with relevant stakeholders, such as the fishing industry, government agencies, the community and others with an interest in the sustainable management of the Commonwealth’s fisheries resources, is a vital part of this approach. This approach provides opportunities for stakeholders to have input into the management process through, in the case of the BSCZSF, the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC).

Subsection 23(3) of the Plan provides that, before giving a direction, AFMA must consult the Committee about the content of the Direction unless the Direction is made in an emergency.

AFMA consulted with ScallopMAC at its meeting on 19-20 April 2005. ScallopMAC agreed that the purpose of Regulation 9 was to protect a known area of scallops, and in the absence of current information about the location of scallop beds in the western half of the fishery agreed it was better to close a large area than a small one. The MAC agreed to review the closure if beds of scallops are identified in this area through a data collection strategy for the fishery.

Details of the Direction are set out below:

Clause 1

Provides for the Direction to be cited as Direction No. BSCZSF 02.

Clause 2

Provides for the commencement of the Direction.

Clause 3

States to whom the Direction applies.

Clause 4

Sets out the period of application of this Direction.

Clause 5

Provides for the interpretation of the Direction. In particular, the clause adopts defined terms used in the Plan. The notes indicate that terms defined in the Plan and FMA have the same meaning in the Direction.

Clause 6

Prohibits fishing in the area defined for the period of the Direction.