Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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No. 1 of 2006 Directions/Other as made
This Direction closes daylight fishing in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery until 9 August 2006.
Administered by: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Registered 12 Jul 2006
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR08-Aug-2006
Tabled Senate08-Aug-2006
Date of repeal 09 Aug 2006
Repealed by Cessation provision.






Issued by the Authority of the Managing Director

of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority


Fisheries Management Act 1991

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Plan 2005


Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Direction No.1 of 2006

Daylight Fishing Closure


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.

Subsection 12(1) of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Plan 2005 (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.  Subsection 12(4) of the Plan provides that AFMA can make such a Direction without consultation or notice in an emergency.

Section 6 of the Plan provides objectives of the Plan, including to ensure that the exploitation of the resources of the Fishery and the carrying on of any related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle, and, in particular, the need to have regard to the impact of fishing activities on bycatch species and the long term sustainability of the marine environment.

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 includes waters within the Australian fishing zone between Cape York Peninsula and the border of Victoria and South Australia.  For management and administration, the Fishery is managed in several zones within that are and some areas are closed to fishing. The Fishery is for tuna and billfish species caught by longline and minorline fishing.

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Direction No. 1 of 2006 establishes a closure to daylight fishing in a specified area of the Fishery.  The Direction sets out closure boundaries and prevents fishing in that area during daylight hours for a four week period. 

This daylight closure has been introduced as an urgent response to a significant increase in the bycatch of threatened albatross species in the area.  Longline fishing is considered a significant threat to seabirds.  The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 has established a Threat Abatement Plan for seabird bycatch, which sets a limit of 0.05 bird captures per 1000 hooks that are set.  The recent bycatch of albatross is likely to result in the limit being exceeded.  Fishery observers have reported greater albatross prevalence in this southern area at this time of year than is usually the case.

The daylight closure will therefore provide additional protection during this period of higher albatross abundance.

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 8458).


The magnitude of the increased mortality of threatened seabirds requires that AFMA take immediate action to provide additional protection.  The need to provide a rapid response to minimise the chance of further albatross mortality means that this Direction has been made in response to an emergency situation.  As such, AFMA is not obliged to conduct consultation.  Notwithstanding, the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Advisory Committee was informed of AFMA’s intention prior to this Direction.

Details of the Direction are set out below:

Clause 1          Clause 1 provides that the Direction is the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Direction No.1 of 2006.

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 the Direction.

Clause 5         Clause 5 defines certain terms used in the Direction and provides that terms used in the Direction that are used in 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         Clause 6 prohibits commercial fishing in the given area of the Fishery. 

Clause 7         Clause 7 provides for an exemption to clause 6 if fishing is undertaken at night between nautical dusk (sunset) and nautical dawn (sunrise).