Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

NPF Direction No. 94 - Gear Requirements

Authoritative Version
NPFD No. 94 Directions/Other as made
Replaces Direction No. NPFD 81 and establishes the type of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) that can be used in the Fishery.
Administered by: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Registered 28 Mar 2006
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR30-Mar-2006
Tabled Senate30-Mar-2006
Date of repeal 27 Mar 2007
Repealed by NPF Direction No. 107 - Gear Requirements






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 94

Gear Requirements


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

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 94 replaces Direction No. NPFD 81. It establishes the type of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) that can be used in the Fishery. The Direction specifies the minimum dimensions of the TED, the degrees between which it can positioned in the net, the measurements for the escape opening and the measurements for the flaps covering the escape opening, the attachment of floats and maximum bar spacing. It also prohibits the attachment of weights, meshing or other material that could prevent the opening of the escape flap. These specifications will ensure the Northern Prawn Fishery is compliant with US requirements for accreditation for export.

The date in this Direction covers both fishing seasons.

Regulation Impact Statement

The Office of Regulation Review has advised that a Regulation Impact Statement is not mandatory on the basis that the Direction is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements (ID 7952).


AFMA consulted with the Northern Prawn Fisheries Management Advisory Committee (NORMAC) prior to making the Direction and NORMAC supports the making of the Direction.

The Act does not specify any condition as needing to be met before the power to make the Direction may be exercised.

Details of the Direction are set out below:

Clause 1          Clause 1 provides for the Direction to be cited as Direction No. NPFD 94.

Clause 2          Clause 2 provides for the commencement of the Direction.

Clause 3          Clause 3 states to whom the Direction applies.

Clause 4          Clause 4 sets out the period of application of this Direction.

Clause 5          Clause 5 provides for the interpretation of the Direction. In particular, the section defines the type of and specifications for bycatch and turtle excluder devices with can be used in the Fishery.

Clause 6          Clause 6 states which nets must be fitted with the devices described by this Direction. 

Clause 7          Clause 7 revokes Direction No. NPFD 81.


NPFD 94.