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Implementing The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy


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Taken from Qld Fisheries CatchNews email newsletter  28-8-2017

The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017 – 2027 was released on 9 June 2017. Based on consultation and feedback from stakeholders, the Strategy paves the way for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system and includes $20 million over three years for improved compliance, monitoring, engagement, communication and decision-making. Implementation of the Strategy is underway.


Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel appointed
The Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel has been established and members appointed by the Government on 25 July 2017.
The Expert Panel will provide independent advice to improve evidence-based decision making and the panel’s advice will underpin the most significant reform of fisheries management in Queensland and ensure future decisions are grounded in scientific information.  


Establishment of fishery working groups 
Expressions of interest were called from 4-22 July 2017 as the first step to establishing fishery-specific working groups. The first three fishery working groups have been appointed and will soon start working on harvest strategies for the trawl, east coast inshore and crab fisheries.


Investing in additional monitoring 
The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy identifies the need for Fisheries Queensland to improve the quality of data to ensure fish stocks remain sustainable. Work is underway on implementation programs to improve monitoring and assessment of our fisheries. The fisheries monitoring team is busy rolling out new fishery independent monitoring for scallops and eastern king prawns, as well as additional biological monitoring for other coral reef species, mangrove jack in the Gulf, blue threadin and shark.  For information - https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/monitoring-our-fisheries

Rolling out vessel tracking
Fisheries Queensland has commenced trialling vessel tracking units on commercial boats as part of a commitment to have vessel tracking on all commercial fishing boats by the end of 2020.

With technological advances, the size and cost of vessel tracking units has reduced significantly compared to when they were first introduced in the Queensland trawl fishery.  A trial of vessel tracking units has commenced on a number of small vessels in the net, crab and line fisheries. One vessel tracking unit being trialled can fit in the palm of the hand and can be easily moved between vessels and costs around $230 with a monthly cost of around $30 to $40 for sending location data.

The Queensland Government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority have pooled funding to help subsidise the costs to industry. A total of $2.2 million will be available to help industry with costs. Costs of approved units and installation will be subsidised by the government, starting in early 2018. 

Licensed fishing charter operators will be required to have vessel tracking by 2020 and are part of the current trial. Consideration is also being given to requiring vessel tracking for the recreational sector under certain situations, for example repeat offenders.

Fisheries Queensland is committed to working with industry to help minimise costs and ensure the rules applied are practical and achievable for smaller boats and fishing operations that use multiple boats.  Fisheries Queensland staff will be undertaking consultation with industry later this year to discuss the approved vessel tracking units, the reimbursement process and the draft rules. More information - 

What is a harvest strategy?
A harvest strategy is a framework that specifies pre-determined management actions for a defined species necessary to achieve the agreed ecological, economic and/or social objectives.

Harvest strategies provide clarity about the overall fishery objectives, fishery performance indicators, triggers for management action, and appropriate management responses and/or decision rules.

The decision rules clearly state what pre-determined management action will be taken under certain circumstances. This usually involves adjusting (through quota, management units or bag limits etc.) the catch or fishing pressure in the fishery. By being clear about what action will be taken and when, harvest strategies help remove much of the uncertainty around how a fishery will be managed.

More detailed information https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/sustainable-fisheries-strategy/harvest-strategy

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