Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Directions/Other as made
This Instrument amends the Northern Prawn Fishery (Closures) Direction No. 171 to enable the early closure of the tiger prawn season in the Northern Prawn Fishery.
Administered by: Agriculture and Water Resources
Registered 07 Nov 2017
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled Senate13-Nov-2017
Tabled HR04-Dec-2017
Date of repeal 01 Dec 2017
Repealed by Self Repealing

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Issued by the Authority of the

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

 

Fisheries Management Act 1991

 

Northern Prawn Fishery (Early Closure) Direction No. 175

Subsection 41A(2) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (the Management Act) provides that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) may, after such consultation as set out in s41A(2), direct that fishing is not to be engaged in in the fishery, or a particular part of the fishery, during a particular period or periods.

Subsection 41A(3) of the Management Act provides that AFMA may, at any time, by a further direction in writing, vary or revoke a direction given under subsection (2).  A direction given under subsection 41A(3) of the Management Act is not subject to the notification requirements under section 41A(2) and 41A(2A). 

Pursuant to subsection 41A(4) of the Management Act, if AFMA varies a direction given under subsection 41A(2) it must ensure a copy of the direction given under subsection (3) is sent to the holder of a fishing concession in respect of the fishery as soon as practicable.  

The Northern Prawn Fishery (Early Closure) Direction No. 175 (the Direction) is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.

The Fishery

The Northern Prawn 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. Fishing in 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 Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 (the Plan) to fish in the Fishery. These limitations are known commonly as input controls and are used in the Fishery to address both the biological and economic objectives of 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 and the number of boats in the Fishery.

As of 2 November 2017 the decision rule requirements to close the tiger prawn fishery has now been triggered (as informed by industry (NPFI).  Therefore the tiger prawn fishery needs to be totally closed for the rest of the season.

The Direction

The Direction varies the Northern Prawn Fishery (Closures) Direction No. 171.  The variation provides for additional area closures for specified times within the Fishery

The NPF Harvest Strategy 2014 includes a maximum economic yield (MEY) based tiger prawn catch trigger used to calculate the length of the tiger prawn fishing season. This trigger is variable and is calculated in‑season, based on economic data provided by the peak industry body for the fishery, NPF Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI). The high variability of tiger prawn recruitment results in significant variations in stock availability from year to year, and therefore this decision rule allows AFMA to close the tiger prawn fishery once the MEY threshold is reached.

The decision rule was triggered on 2 November 2017 and the requirement to close the tiger prawn fishery has now been triggered as informed by industry (NPFI).  Therefore this Direction closes the fishery area for the remainder of the tiger prawn season.

The Direction is consistent with AFMA’s legislative objectives under the Management Act to maximise net economic returns to the Australian community.

The measures imposed by the Direction commence upon registration on the Federal Register of Legislation.

 

Consultation

The Direction is made under subsection 41A(3) of the Management Act, therefore no consultation is required. However, AFMA has consulted with the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd in relation to the Direction.

 

Regulation Impact Statement

The Office of Best Practice Regulation provided a standing carve out to AFMA (OBPR No. 14421) recognising that setting the opening and closing dates for a fishing season is a machinery decision under current regulatory settings and follows established procedures. 

 

Statement of compatibility prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

This legislative instrument does not infringe any of the applicable rights or freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Accordingly, in AFMA’s assessment, this legislative instrument is compatible with human rights and a declaration is attached.

 

Details of the Direction are set out below:

Clause 1

Provides for the Direction to be cited as the Northern Prawn Fishery (Early Closure) Direction No. 175.

Clause 2

Provides that the Direction commences on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Clause 3

 

Clause 4

Provides that the Direction is repealed on 1st December 2017 unless earlier revoked.

Provides that terms used in the Direction that are defined in the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 (the Plan) and the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (Management Act), and have the same meanings they have in the Plan and Management Act.

Clause 5

Provides that the Direction applies to a holder of a fishing concession in the Fishery and to a person acting on behalf of the holder.

Clause 6

Varies the Northern Prawn Fishery (Closures) Direction No.171 by closing the fishery early.  


Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Northern Prawn Fishery (Early Closure) Direction No. 175

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview of the Legislative Instrument
Subsection 41A(2) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (the Management Act) provides that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) may, after such consultation as set out in s41A(2), direct that fishing is not to be engaged in in the fishery, or a particular part of the fishery, during a particular period or periods. Subsection 41A(3) of the Management Act provides that AFMA may, at any time, by a further direction in writing, vary or revoke a direction given under subsection (2).  A direction given under subsection 41A(3) of the Management Act  is not subject to the notification requirements under section 41A(2) and 41A(2A).  Pursuant to subsection 41A(4) of the Management Act, if AFMA varies a direction given under subsection 41A(2) it must ensure a copy of the direction given under subsection (3) is sent to the holder of a fishing concession in respect of the fishery as soon as practicable.   
The Northern Prawn Fishery (Early Closure) Direction No. 175 (the Direction) is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.
The Direction establishes additional area closures for the last ten days of the 2017 tiger prawn season to maximise net economic returns to the Australian community. The Direction closes all waters at the end of the 16th fishing week (2230 UTC 20 November 2017). 
All other aspects of the original Direction continue in their original terms.  

Human rights implications
This Legislative Instrument does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion
This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.  AFMA is satisfied that the instrument is consistent with AFMA’s obligation to pursue its statutory objectives.