Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

NPFD No. 88 Directions/Other as made
A direction for the Northern Prawn Fishery specifying the period and area closures for the 2005/2006 season and revoking NPF Direction No. 87.
Administered by: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
General Comments: This Direction commences at 0830 hours UTC on 1 August 2005.
Registered 12 Jul 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR09-Aug-2005
Tabled Senate09-Aug-2005
Date of repeal 14 Apr 2006
Repealed by NPF Direction No. 90 - First Season Closures




Issued by the Authority of the Managing Director

of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority


Fisheries Management Act 1991

Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995


Direction No. NPFD 88


The Direction is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

Subsection 17(5A) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (the Management Act) provides that a plan of management made under the Management Act may provide for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to give particular Directions for the purposes of attaining the objectives of the plan of management.  The subsection also requires that the Directions be made after the consultations (if any) that are set out in the plan of management.

Section 14 of the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 (the Plan) allows particular holders of Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) granted under the Plan to take prawns, squid, scampi, bugs and scallops (target species) from the Northern Prawn Fishery (the fishery).  Subsection 14(5) of the Plan allows those holders to also take other fish (bycatch) while conducting commercial fishing activities for the target species.  This ability to take target species and bycatch is subject to Directions made under section 25 of the Plan.

Subsection 25(1) of the Plan provides that AFMA may direct that fishing is not to be engaged in the fishery, or a part of the fishery, during a particular period or periods.  Section 4 of the Plan provides objectives of the Plan, including the implementation of efficient and cost effective management of the fishery.

Subsection 25(3) of the Plan provides that, before AFMA issues a Direction, it must consult with the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Advisory Committee (NORMAC) about the content of the Direction unless the direction is issued in circumstances of an emergency.

Section 92 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 provides for AFMA to delegate its powers and functions to, among others, the Managing Director of AFMA.  Subsection 17 (11) of the Management Act permits AFMA to delegate its powers to make Directions (among other things) only to the Managing Director.  AFMA has delegated its power to make Directions to the Managing Director.

The fishery extends from the northern coast of Western Australia, the coast of the Northern Territory and the coast of Queensland in the Gulf of Carpentaria, to the outer limit of the Australian Fishing Zone.  The fishery is for prawns and 4 major ecologically related species (namely squid, scampi, bugs and scallops).  There are 2 fishing seasons in the fishery, bounded by closures.   The area of the fishery overlaps the areas of a number of fisheries for other species that are managed by the States and the Territory.

The fishery is managed by limiting the amount of fishing effort that is employed by the persons permitted by the Plan to fish in the fishery (operators).  These limitations are known generically as input controls and are used in the fishery to address both biological and economic objectives for the fishery.   The specific types of inputs that are controlled in the fishery are the amount of fishing time (limited by closures of all or parts of the fishery), the amounts and types of fishing equipment, the number of boats in the fishery and the specifications of those boats.

Direction No. NPFD 88 replaces Direction No. NPFD 87. It establishes closures in specified areas of the fishery.  The Direction sets out closure boundaries and prevents fishing in six specific areas within the fishery to protect spawning and juvenile prawns during the second fishing season and east and west end of season closures to protect stock prior to and during spawning periods.

The dates in this Direction reflect those for the second fishing season of 1 August to 15 November 2005.

AFMA consulted with NORMAC prior to making the Direction and NORMAC supports the making of the Direction.

Details of the Direction are set out below:

Clause 1 provides for the Direction to be cited as Direction No. NPFD 88.

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 defines certain terms used in the Direction and provides that terms used in the Direction that are defined for the purposes of the Plan have the same meanings as they have in the Plan.  The note indicates that terms defined in the Management Act have the same meaning in the Direction.

Clause 6 prohibits commercial fishing in areas of the fishery detailed in Schedules 1 to 8, during certain periods as set out in the table. 

Clause 7 provides for an exemption to clause 6; for persons who navigate in an exempt transit corridor or specified closure and carry the fishing equipment in a particular manner; for persons who apply for and receive an exemption from AFMA in accordance with Schedule 10; for persons carrying out gear trials in accordance with Direction No. NPFD 89; for persons entitled to take fish in the area of the fishery if they are fishing for gravid prawns under an authority provided by AFMA, or who otherwise fish in accordance with another plan of management in force under the Management Act, or State or Territory law applying in the area of the fishery.

Clause 8  revokes Direction No. NPFD 87.

Schedules 1 to 8 describe the areas that are closed to fishing referred to in clause 6.

Schedule 9 describes the exempt transit corridor areas referred to in clause 7.3

Schedule 10 describes the protocols for applications for exemptions referred to in clause 7.3.


NPFD 88.