Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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NPF Direction No. 133 - Gear Requirements

Authoritative Version
NPFD No. 133 Directions/Other as made
This Direction revokes NPF Direction No. 107 - Gear Requirements 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 15 Mar 2010
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR17-Mar-2010
Tabled Senate17-Mar-2010
Date of repeal 25 Mar 2011
Repealed by NPF Direction No. 150 - Gear Requirements






Issued by the Authority of the

Australian Fisheries Management Authority


Fisheries Management Act 1991

Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995


Direction No. NPFD 133

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, inter alia, that a plan of management may provide for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), after such consultation as set out in the plan of management, to direct that fishing is not to be engaged in the fishery, or a particular part of the fishery, during a particular period or periods.

Subsection 17(5B) of the Management Act provides that a direction under Subsection 17(5A) in relation to a particular part of the fishery may identify the part concerned in any way or ways, including by reference to a particular area, a particular species or type of fish, a particular kind or quantity of fishing equipment, a particular method of fishing, or any combination of the above.

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. Under the current trial of co-management arrangements AFMA must consult with Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) on all operational matters for the fishery, including Directions. This is outlined in the co-management policy and memorandum of understanding between AFMA and NPFI and has been endorsed by NORMAC.

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 four major ecologically related species (namely squid, scampi, bugs and scallops).  There are two 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 133 replaces Direction No. NPFD 107, as NPFD 107 expires on 31 March 2010. NPFD 133 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.

The Direction specifies the six types of BRDs currently approved for use in the Northern Prawn Fishery. These are the “Square Mesh Codend”, the “Square Mesh Panel”, the “Fisheye”, the “Yarrow Fisheye”, the “Radial Escape Section” and the “Popeye Fishbox”. The specifications for each of these is outlined in Schedule 1 of the Direction

The Direction specifies that each net used for fishing in the Northern Prawn Fishery must have installed a BRD of one of the given types, a TED and a codend cover (skirt) attached no further than 60 meshes from the codend drawstrings. These specifications will ensure the Northern Prawn Fishery is compliant with US requirements for accreditation for export.

This Direction covers both fishing seasons.

Regulation Impact Statement

The Office of Best Practice Regulation has advised that a Regulation Impact Statement or quantification of compliance costs are not required on the basis that the Direction is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements. The OBPR considers that the impacts of amendments will be low (ID 11091).


AFMA consulted with Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) prior to making the Direction; NPFI 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 133.

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 that nets must be fitted with the devices described by this Direction. 

Clause 7         Clause 7 revokes Direction No. NPFD 107.

Schedule 1     Schedule 1 describes the bycatch reduction devices that can be used in the Fishery and the positioning of such devices.

Schedule 2     Schedule 2 describes a modified turtle excluder device.

Schedule 3     Schedule 3 tabulates the different mesh sizes used in the Fishery and the equivalent maximum number of meshes a bycatch reduction device can be positioned from the codend drawstrings.


NPFD 133