Management Advisory Committees are statutory committees established by AFMA under section 56 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.
The committees provide advice to AFMA and the AFMA Commission on the preparation of management arrangements, the operation of the relevant fishery and reporting to AFMA on scientific, economic and other information on the status of fish stocks, sub stocks, species (target and non-target species) and the impact of fishing on the marine environment. This advice is required to be evidence-based and address biological, economic and wider ecological factors affecting the performance of the fishery. Committee advice assists AFMA and the AFMA Commission in its role to regulate commercial fishing in Commonwealth fisheries, particularly the setting of catch limits and conditions.
The membership of Management Advisory Committees is available on AFMA's website.
Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee
The committee met once in Sydney on 12 November 2019. A second face-to-face meeting, planned for March 2020, was postponed due to COVID-19 circumstances. The committee reviewed the existing two year total allowable commercial catch limits for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and the existing three year Western Tuna and Billfish Fisheries total allowable commercial catches and did not recommend any changes to these for the 2020 season to the AFMA Commission.
The committee endorsed a final version of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Strategy and a revised Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery ecological risk assessment.
The committee also:
- reviewed further development of seabird mitigation arrangements in the fishery following higher than normal interactions with protected species in some sectors of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery under the Threat Abatement Plan
- considered the outcomes of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meetings.
Great Australian Bight Management Advisory Committee
The committee met once in Melbourne during 2019-20. The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission in relation to total allowable catches for quota species.
The committee also:
- reviewed the Orange Roughy Rebuilding Strategy and Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector Orange Roughy Research Plan
- discussed the management of southern dogfish in the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector, including the Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy Review and research projects to explore mitigation options to prevent capture of deepwater sharks
- considered the potential implications of COVID-19 on Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector operators and the wider Australian fishing and seafood industries.
Northern Prawn Management Advisory Committee
The committee postponed its annual meeting until the second half of 2020 to align with the results of key research that will enable consideration of updated harvest control rules for redleg banana prawns. The committee considered and supported the following items out-of-session during 2019-20:
- the Northern Prawn Fishery harvest strategy was amended for scampi to align the season start date with the end of the fishery’s tiger prawn season
- bycatch reduction devices authorised when targeting tiger prawns were updated to ensure all authorised devices have been demonstrated through scientific trials to achieve a bycatch reduction of greater than 30 per cent compared to square mesh panels
- the Northern Prawn Fishery annual research plan was reviewed and updated to include the latest key research priorities.
Southern Bluefin Tuna Management Advisory Committee
The committee met once in 2019-20 in Canberra.
The committee discussed:
- the outcomes from the 2019 Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Operating Model and Management Procedure Technical Meeting and 24th Extended Scientific Committee meeting
- progress towards a new Management Procedure
- the total allowable catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna for the 2019-20 season and accounting for all sources of mortality.
Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Advisory Committee
The committee met three times during 2019-20 via teleconference. The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission for the 2020 fishing season on total allowable catches for Commercial Scallop and Doughboy Scallops, closures and fishing season dates in accordance with the intent of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy. The committee also:
- provided advice to the AFMA Commission on the potential management implications of not undertaking the 2020 biomass survey and setting the total allowable catch for Commercial Scallop outside the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy for a single year after AFMA received requests from industry to cancel the 2020 scallop biomass survey due to operational and health issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic
- considered the schedule of planned seismic activity and any potential impacts for closures that were recommended for the 2020 fishing season
- provided initial advice on proposed amendments as a part of the review of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy
- provided advice on AFMA's proposal to collect economic data following consultation with operators and the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Resource Assessment Group.
South East Management Advisory Committee
The committee met twice in 2019-20, once in Canberra and once in Melbourne. The committee:
- made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches and effort controls for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, the Small Pelagic Fishery and the Southern Squid Jig Fishery
- provided advice on the requirement for electronic monitoring in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap sector
- provided advice on the management of rebuilding species including blue warehou, orange roughy, school shark and upper-slope dogfish
- provided advice on the western orange roughy research plan.
Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory Committee
The committee held two meetings in 2019-20, one meeting via teleconference and one meeting in Hobart.
The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches for Patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish and catch limits for bycatch species in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery. The committee also made recommendations on total allowable catch for Patagonian toothfish as well as catch limits for bycatch species in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery.
The committee also discussed:
- the outcomes of the 2019 meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
- new vessel management arrangements
exploratory fisheries applications for the 2019/20 season.