Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Directions/Other as made
This instrument repeals and replaces the Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2020 to remove the Square Mesh Codend, Fisheye, and Radial Escape Section as approved Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) in the Northern Prawn Fishery and specifies the position where each of the approved BRDs must be installed in the net. It also makes it compulsory to use either the Kon’s Covered Fisheyes, FishEX 70, Popeye Fishbox (at 70 meshes from the codend drawstrings) or Tom’s Fisheye BRD when fishing in the tiger prawn season and any approved BRD at all other times, and specifies the minimum dimensions of the Turtle Excluder Device, the degrees between which it can be 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 prohibits the attachment of weights, meshing or other material that could prevent the opening of the escape flap.
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Registered 18 Mar 2021
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR22-Mar-2021
Tabled Senate11-May-2021
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2021

I, Wez Norris, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, as delegate under delegation No. 2 of 2016 made on 14th November 2016 from the Commission, make the following direction.

Dated               15 March 2021                      

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                                                             5

Schedule 3 – Bycatch reduction devices                                                                      6

Schedule 4 – Repeals                                                                                                     9

Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2020         9

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           

 


1  Name

                   This instrument is the Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2021.

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

This instrument commences on the 14th day after it is registered.

 

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 3; 

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 4 to this instrument is repealed as set out in the applicable items in that Schedule.

(2)   Schedules 1 to 3 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 subsection 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 3 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 described in Schedules 1 or 3 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 Panel, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing that is 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 than 120 meshes from the codend drawstrings; 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.                     Yarrow Fisheye, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one device with the aft edge of the device located no further forward than 120 meshes from the codend drawstrings; and

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

c)      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

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

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

3.                     Popeye Fishbox, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one device with the aft edge of the device located no further forward than 120 meshes from the codend drawstrings; and

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

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

d)      a rigid foil positioned at the forward edge of the BRD no less than 200 mm in depth; 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 – Bycatch reduction devices

Each of the following are bycatch reduction devices:

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

a)      one escape opening device with the aft edge of the device located at 78 meshes from the codend drawstrings; and

b)      one escape opening device with the aft edge of the device located at 55 meshes from the codend drawstrings; 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 with the aft edge of the device located at 65 meshes from the codend drawstrings; 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, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one device with the aft edge of the device located at 60 meshes from the codend drawstrings; and

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

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

d)      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

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

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

4.         Popeye Fishbox, an escape opening device installed in a net rigged for fishing to the following specification:

a)      one device with the aft edge of the device located at 70 meshes from the codend drawstrings; and

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

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

d)      a rigid foil positioned at the forward edge of the BRD no less than 200 mm in depth; 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 4 – Repeals

Fisheries Management (Northern Prawn Fishery Gear Requirements) Direction 2020

1  The whole of the instrument

Repeal the instrument