Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Directions/Other as made
This Direction prohibits fishing by freezer/processing vessels unless Seal Excluder Devices are used.
Administered by: Agriculture and Water Resources
Registered 22 Dec 2010
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR08-Feb-2011
Tabled Senate08-Feb-2011
Date ceased to have effect 31 Dec 2015
Ceased by Self Ceasing

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

 

Issued by the Authority of the Chief Executive Officer

of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

 

Fisheries Management Act 1991

 

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Management Plan 2003

 

SESSF (Gear Requirements) Direction 2010 No. 6

 

(Use of seal excluder devices by freezer processing vessels in the Commonwealth South East Trawl Sector)

 

The purpose of the SESSF (Gear Requirements) Direction 2010 No. 6 is to prohibit fishing by freezer/processing vessels operating in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (CTS) of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) unless Seal Excluder Devices are used, and interactions with seals are reported, as required by the Direction.  

 

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), after such consultations (is any) as are 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 made under paragraph 17(5A) in relation to a part of a 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 56(1) of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Management Plan 2003 (SESSF 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 56(2) of the SESSF Plan provides that, before AFMA issues a Direction, it must consult and consider the views of each relevant management advisory committee about the content of the direction unless the Direction is given in an emergency.

 

Section 92 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 provides for AFMA to delegate its powers and functions to, among others, the Chief Executive Officer of AFMA.

 

Subsection 17(11) of the Management Act provides that AFMA may delegate any powers conferred on it under a plan of Management in accordance with paragraph 17(5A)(a) (and other provisions) only to the Chief Executive Officer. AFMA has delegated its powers to make Directions under section 17(5A) of the Management Act and section 56 of the SESSF Plan to the Chief Executive Officer.

 


Background

 

On the 13 June 2007 SESSF Direction No. 07 was implemented in the SESSF. The Direction applied to all freezer/processing vessels fishing under Statutory Fishing Rights within the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (CTS) of the SESSF. The Direction requires those concession holders to use Seal Excluder Devices (SEDs) during fishing operations and to record in the relevant logbook any interactions with the Australian Fur Seal.

 

Historically, there have been a maximum of three participants in the freezer/processing sector of the CTS. These concession holders have, in consultation with AFMA and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, developed stringent operational procedures to reduce fur seal interactions and to contribute to seal research.

 

The Minister for Environment accredited the SESSF Plan on 19 December 2003. Accordingly, an operator that interacts with a protected species as listed in Part 13 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (including Australian fur seals and New Zealand fur seals), will not commit an offence if the operator complies with the requirements of the SESSF Plan.

 

In the past, trialling and adopting SEDs has been the focus of the larger factory vessels operating in the winter blue grenadier freezer/processing sector. Development and trialling of mitigation measures on the smaller non-factory ‘wet boats’ operating in the sector is ongoing.

 

Objectives

 

Under the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) for the trawl fishery, the Australian Fur Seal was listed as high risk. Under the Bycatch and Discarding Workplan, AFMA is required to respond to any high ecological risks identified through the ERA process for the effects of fishing. The introduction of SEDs into fishing operations is designed to meet the objectives identified in the Bycatch and Discarding Workplan with regard to reducing the bycatch and discarding of threatened, endangered and protected (TEP) species.

 

AFMA acknowledges the importance of future operations in the freezer/processing sector being conducted in a responsible manner and for fishers to contribute to the investigation of methods to further reduce seal interactions.

 

A Direction is required as the freezer/processing vessels fishing under Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) within the CTS of the SESSF are affected by the mandatory gear technology modifications which incorporate the use of SEDs. This is the most expedient mechanism to apply the conditions in the management of the fishery.

 

All SFR holders involved in the fishery are fully supportive of the new requirements and with the making of a direction to permit them to fish provided they comply with the additional requirements imposed by the Direction.  

 

Consultation

 

AFMA has consulted with relevant industry participants and the Southern and Eastern Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC) regarding the Direction. AFMA has received support for the implementation of the Direction in the CTS of the SESSF.  

 

Regulation Impact Statement

 

Office of Best Practice Regulation issued a RIS exception (ID 12118) due to the proposal being of a minor or machinery nature that does not substantially alter existing arrangements.

 

Determination

 

Details of the Direction are set out below:

 

Clause 1 - provides for the Direction to be cited as SESSF (Gear Requirements) Direction 2010 No. 6.

 

Clause 2 - provides that the Direction commences on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

 

Clause 3 – specifies the persons to whom the Direction applies.

 

Clause 4 - specifies the period of application of the Determination.

 

Clause 5 – defines particular terms used in the Direction.

 

Clause 6 – prohibits fishing using a factory vessel in the specified area of the Commonwealth South East Trawl Sector during the period 1 June to 30 September each year, unless a Seal Excluder Device is used in every trawl shot that complies with the prescribed specifications and reporting requirements.

 

Clause 7 - provides that SESSF Direction No 7 is revoked from commencement of this Direction.