Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Directions/Other as made
This instrument directs that fishing is not to be engaged in in the Northern Prawn Fishery area unless the nets used are fitted with (i) either the Kon’s Covered Fisheye, FishEX 70, Popeye Fishbox (at 70 meshes from the codend drawstrings) or Tom’s Fisheye BRD in a vessel’s nets rigged for fishing when fishing in the tiger prawn season; or (ii) any approved Bycatch Reduction Devices (BDR) at all other times.
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Registered 22 Jul 2020
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2020

I, Wez Norris, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, make the following direction.

Dated               21 July 2020               

Wez Norris

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

 

 

 


Contents

1  Name........................................................................................................................................ 1

2  Commencement........................................................................................................................ 1

3  Authority.................................................................................................................................. 1

4  Definitions................................................................................................................................ 1

5  Schedules................................................................................................................................. 3

6  To whom this applies............................................................................................................... 3

7  Prohibition on fishing............................................................................................................... 4

Schedule 1 – Bycatch reduction devices                                                                      5

Schedule 2 – Modified turtle excluder device                                                             7

Schedule 3 – Maximum number of meshes for placement of BRDs                        8

Schedule 4 – Bycatch reduction devices                                                                      9

Schedule 5 – Repeals                                                                                                   12

Northern Prawn Fishery (Gear Requirements) Direction No. 174                                            12

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           

 


1  Name

                   This instrument is the Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2020.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this instrument specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this instrument

31 July 2020.

31 July 2020

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this instrument as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this instrument.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this instrument. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this instrument.

3  Authority

                   This instrument is made under section 41A of the Act.

4  Definitions

Note:          A number of expressions used in this instrument are defined in the definitions section of the Act, including the following:

(a)    boat;

(b)    fish

(c)    fishing

(d)    fishing concession

(e)    holder

(f)    modification

(g)    statutory fishing right

(h)    take.

A number of expressions used in this instrument are defined in the interpretation section of the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995, including the following:

(a)    Northern Prawn Fishery

(b)    Northern Prawn Fishery area.

 

                   In this instrument:

Act means the Fisheries Management Act 1991;

boat means a boat that is nominated on statutory fishing rights for the Northern Prawn Fishery, and includes carrier boats and fishing boats;

Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) means a device that allows fish and other animals to escape immediately after being taken in the net and each of the devices described in Schedules 1 and 4; 

forward edge is the edge of a Bycatch Reduction Device where the funnel is attached to the codend;

Modified Turtle Excluder Device means a device described in Schedule 2;

net means a net used for trawling except a try-net;

Turtle Excluder Device (TED) means a device fitted to a net, and modification made to a net, that allows turtles to escape immediately after being taken in the net, and which has:

a)      a rigid or semi-rigid inclined barrier grid comprised of bars extending from the foot to the head of the net that is attached to the circumference of the net which must guide turtles towards an escape hole immediately forward of the grid. The minimum dimensions of this grid are to be at least 81 cm by 81 cm. This structure is to be set at a minimum angle of between 30 and 55 degrees in relation to the horizontal plane of water through the net; and

b)      escape opening which must be:

                                                                        i.         a double flap rectangular net opening where the cut immediately forward of the TED (‘horizontal cut’) must allow a minimum opening of 61 cm when attached to the frame and the two forward cuts of the escape opening must not be less than 51 cm long from the points of the cut immediately forward of the TED frame. The resultant length of the leading edge of the escape opening cut must be no less than 142 cm stretched, or a double flap net triangular opening where the cut immediately forward of the TED must allow a minimum opening of 102 cm when attached to the frame with minimum forward cuts of 101 cm. The flaps must be composed of two mesh panels. Each panel must be a minimum of 147 cm wide when stretched and may overlap each other no more than 38 cm along the leading edge when stretched. The panels can be tapered two bar, one point so the flap overlap increases as they get closer to the bottom of the TED frame. The panels may only be sewn together along the leading edge of the cut and down the entire length of the outside edge of each panel. The trailing edge of each panel must not extend more than 61 cm past the posterior edge of the TED frame. The passage from the mouth of the trawl through the escape opening must be completely clear of any obstruction or modifications, other than those specified in this Direction, or;

                                                                      ii.         a single flap rectangular net opening where the cut immediately forward of the TED (‘horizontal cut’) must be a minimum of 61 cm when attached to the frame and the two forward cuts of the escape opening must not be less than 66 cm long from the points of the cut immediately forward of the TED frame. The resultant length of the leading edge of the escape opening cut must be no less than 181 cm stretched, or a single flap triangular net opening where the cut immediately forward of the TED must be a minimum of 102 cm with minimum forward cuts of 136 cm. The flap must be a minimum of 338 cm by 132 cm piece of mesh. The 132 cm edge of the flap is attached to the forward edge of the escape opening cut. The flap may extend no more than 61 cm behind the posterior edge of the TED frame. The passage from the mouth of the trawl through the escape opening must be completely clear of any obstruction or modifications, other than those specified in this Direction; and

c)      a maximum bar spacing of 120 mm; and

d)      floats attached to the top one-half of all TEDs with bottom escape openings. The floats may be attached either outside or inside the net, but not to a flap. The following floats must be attached to the grid:

                                                                        i.         3 small hard plastic floats that are at least 150 mm, but less than 200 mm, in diameter; or

                                                                      ii.         2 medium hard plastic floats that are at least 200 mm, but less than 250 mm, in diameter; or

                                                                    iii.         1 large hard plastic float that is at least 250 mm in diameter; and

e)      weights, meshing or other materials which may inhibit the opening of this escape flap must not be attached.

                   For the purposes of this Direction, all net measurements refer to the measurement extending from the centre of opposing knots, when the mesh is pulled taut.

5  Schedules

(1)   The instrument that is specified in Schedule 5 to this instrument is repealed as set out in the applicable items in that Schedule.

(2)   Schedules 1 to 4 to this instrument have effect according to their terms.

6  To whom this applies

This Direction applies to a holder of a fishing concession in the Northern Prawn Fishery and to a person acting on behalf of the holder.

7  Prohibition on fishing

(1)   Fishing is not to be engaged in in the Northern Prawn Fishery area until this Direction ceases or is revoked.

(2)   The holder of a fishing concession in respect of the Northern Prawn Fishery is exempt from the prohibition in subsection 7(1) if subsections 7(3) and subsection 7(4) apply to the concession holder. 

(3)   This subsection applies to a concession holder:

a.       during the period commencing at 0830 hours UTC 1 August and ending at 2230 hours UTC on 30 November each year—if a Bycatch Reduction Device described in Schedule 4 is installed in each of the concession holder’s nets rigged for fishing; or

b.      outside the period described in paragraph (a)—if a Bycatch Reduction Device is installed in each of the concession holder’s nets rigged for fishing. 

(4)   This subsection applies to a concession holder:

a.       when fishing where the depth of water is less than 200 metres—if a TED or a Modified Turtle Excluder Device is installed in all the concession holder’s nets rigged for fishing, and

b.      if a codend cover is used in a concession holder’s net—if the codend cover is attached no further than 60 meshes from the codend drawstrings.

(5)   A net is rigged for fishing for the purpose of subsection 7(3) if part or all of the net is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied or otherwise connected to any trawl door or trawl board, or to any tow rope or cable, either on board the boat or attached in any manner to the boat.

 


 

Schedule 1 – Bycatch reduction devices

Each of the following are bycatch reduction devices:

1.         Square Mesh Codend, a codend with at least half the circumference of the codend, and that has the following characteristics:

a)      a nominal mesh size no less than 45 mm; and

b)      netting orientated so that the direction of twine is longitudinal and transverse to the length of the codend; and

c)      an overall length no less than 75 meshes (3.375 metres); and

d)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings of the square mesh, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

2.         Square Mesh Panel, a continuous panel of netting that has the following characteristics:

a)      a nominal mesh size no less than 101 mm; and

b)      an overall dimension no less than 400 mm wide and 600 mm long; and

c)      the aft edge of the panel is located no further forward from the codend drawstrings than the number of meshes for a codend mesh size described in Schedule 3; and

d)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings of the square mesh, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

3.         Fisheye, a device that has the following characteristics:

a)      a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame; and

b)      an escape opening measuring no less than 350 mm wide by 150 mm high; and

c)      an escape opening located no further forward from the codend drawstrings than the number of meshes for a codend mesh size described in Schedule 3; and

d)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

4.         Yarrow Fisheye, a device that has the following characteristics:

a)      a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame; and

b)      an escape opening measuring no less than 350 mm wide by 150 mm with the width of the escape opening divided in half by a solid bar; and

c)      an additional rigid bar running from the apex of the frame to the top of the escape opening; and

d)      an escape opening located no further forward from the codend drawstrings than the number of meshes for a codend mesh size described in Schedule 3; and

e)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

5.         Radial Escape Section (RES), a device that has the following characteristics:

a)      a funnel of netting or other material located within the codend; and

b)      the circumference of the leading edge of the funnel must be of equivalent length to and attached to the circumference of the codend, where the circumference of the codend is equivalent to the product of the mesh size and the number of meshes around the codend; and

c)      the leading edge of the funnel must be attached to the codend no less than 10 meshes from the leading edge of the escape openings; and

d)      the circumference of the trailing edge of the funnel is less than or equal to 0.6 times the number of meshes in the circumference of the codend; and

e)      individual escape openings no less than a square mesh size of 100 mm; and

f)       overall escape openings no less than a panel of netting measuring 350 mm long and extending radially around the codend for at least half the circumference of the codend; and

g)      the trailing edge of the funnel extending no more than 500 mm past the aft edge of the escape openings, and

h)      an escape opening located no further forward from the codend drawstrings than the number of meshes for a codend mesh size described in Schedule 3; and

i)        the forward edge of the RES located no further forward than 900 mm of the TED grid, or if located further forward than 900 mm of the TED grid a wire hoop must be attached to the forward edge of the RES; and

j)        a rigid or semi-rigid wire hoop with a minimum diameter of 650 mm located no more than 5 meshes behind the escape openings; and

k)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

6.         Popeye Fishbox, a device that has the following characteristics:

a)      a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame; and

b)      an escape opening measuring no less than 375 mm wide by 375 mm high; and

c)      a rigid foil positioned at the forward edge of the BRD no less than 200 mm in depth; and

d)      an escape opening located no further forward from the codend drawstrings than the number of meshes for a codend mesh size described in Schedule 3; and

e)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.

Schedule 2 – Modified turtle excluder device

Modified Turtle Excluder Device means a device that:

a)      is a TED with the escape opening in the top of the codend; and

b)      a bar spacing no more than 60 mm; and

c)      in addition the Modified Turtle Excluder Device may have:

                                                                        i.         an escape flap over the escape opening (but no part of the escape flap may be closer than 150 mm to any part of the grid, when the TED is fitted to a codend hung vertically); and

                                                                      ii.         a guiding funnel or flap inside the codend ahead of the grid (but no part of the guiding funnel or flap may be closer than 150 mm to any part of the grid, when the TED is fitted to a codend hung vertically).

 

 

 


Schedule 3 – Maximum number of meshes for placement of BRDs

The following table details the maximum number of meshes for placement of BRDs from the codend drawstrings for different codend mesh sizes. The formula to calculate the maximum number of meshes using linear or metric mesh sizes is as follows:

·         for imperial mesh sizes: (2 / actual mesh size in inches) x 120

·         for metric mesh sizes: (50.8 / actual mesh size in mm) x 120

 

Mesh Size

(mm)

Mesh Size

(inches)

Maximum number of meshes required

31.25

1.25

195

32

1.28

191

35

1.4

174

40

1.6

152

43.75

1, 3/4

139

46

1.84

133

46.875

1, 7/8

130

48

1.92

127

50

2

122

53

2.12

115

56.25

2, 1/4

108

58

2.32

105

62.5

2, 1/2

98

 

 


 

Schedule 4 – Bycatch reduction devices

Each of the following are bycatch reduction devices:

1.         Kon’s Covered Fisheye, two escape opening devices installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one escape opening device located at 78 meshes from the codend drawstring; and

b)      one escape opening device located at 55 meshes from the codend drawstring; and

c)      for which each escape opening device has the following characteristics prior to being installed in a net rigged for fishing:

                                                                        i.         a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame that encloses a rigid cone; and

                                                                      ii.         an escape opening measuring no less than 430 mm wide by 205 mm high and must face the codend; and

                                                                    iii.         a rigid cone measuring no less than 295 mm wide by 145 mm high by 275 mm in length fixed to the rigid frame; and

                                                                    iv.         with an escape gap between the rigid frame and the rigid cone of 55 mm.

2.         FishEX 70, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one device located at 65 meshes from the codend drawstring; and

b)      with an escape gap clear of any obstructions (including mesh ties); and

c)      for which the escape opening device has the characteristics detailed in Figure 1 prior to being installed in a net rigged for fishing.

Title: Figure 1 Description - Description: By-catch Reduction Device” (BRD) means a device that allows fish and other animals to escape immediately after being taken in the net.
The By-catch Reduction Device” (BRD) mandated by this direction is called a  “Kon’s Covered Fisheye”.
“Kon’s Covered Fisheye” means two escape opening devices installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a) one escape opening device located at 78 meshes from the codend drawstring; and
b) one escape opening device located at 55 meshes from the codend drawstring; and for which each escape opening device has the following characteristics prior to being installed in a net rigged for fishing:
c) a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame that encloses a rigid cone; and
d) an escape opening measuring no less than 430 mm wide by 205 mm high and must face the codend; and
e) a rigid cone measuring no less than 295 mm wide by 145 mm high by 275 mm in length fixed to the rigid frame; and
f) with an escape gap between the rigid frame and the rigid cone of 55 mm.

“FishEX70” means an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)one device located at 65 meshes from the codend drawstring; and
b) with an escape gap clear of any obstructions (including mesh ties); and
c) for which the escape opening device has the characteristics detailed in Figure 1 prior to being installed in a net rigged for fishing.
Figure 1 – FishEX 70 bycatch reduction device dimensions

 

3.         Tom’s Fisheye, one escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification at 60 meshes from the codend drawstring for which the escape opening device has the following characteristics prior to being installed in a net rigged for fishing:

a)      a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame that supports a rigid enclosed cone; and

b)      an escape opening measuring no less than 360 mm wide by 200 mm high and must face the codend; and

c)      a rigid cone measuring no less than 340 mm wide by 185 mm high by 290 mm in length fixed to the rigid frame; and

d)      with an escape gap between the rigid frame and rigid cone of 94 mm; and

e)      with an escape gap clear of any obstructions (including mesh ties).

4.         Popeye Fishbox, a device located at 70 meshes from the codend drawstrings that has the following characteristics:

a)      a vertical escape opening held open by a rigid frame; and

b)      an escape opening measuring no less than 375 mm wide x 375 mm; and

c)      a rigid foil positioned at the forward edge of the BRD no less than 200 mm in depth; and

d)      no pieces of netting or other material covering any escape openings, nor any opening closed by any other means, during fishing operations.


 

Schedule 5 – Repeals

Northern Prawn Fishery (Gear Requirements) Direction No. 174

1  The whole of the instrument

Repeal the instrument