Strategic assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Australian Fisheries Management Authority, 2012
Strategic assessment of the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery
In December 2011, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities entered into an agreement with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to undertake a strategic assessment of the Commonwealth Northern Prawn Fishery.
Draft Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 2012
AFMA intends to revoke the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 under section 20(3) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and determine a new plan of management for the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), the Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 2012 (NPF Plan).
The NPF Plan proposes to:
- provide a framework for AFMA to manage the NPF through individual transferrable quotas (ITQs)
- set up a system of transferrable Statutory Fishing Rights and how those rights will be allocated
- provide for AFMA to set the fishing seasons each year
- limit access to the fishery to holders of these rights and list the obligations to which the holders must comply
- require AFMA to set a total allowable catch for each quota species
- require AFMA to manage the impact of the fishery on the wider marine environment
- retain the existing management advisory committee in the form of NORMAC
- list the primary species to which the plan applies
- list the area of water to which the plan applies, and
- allow for certain amounts of overcatch to occur without prosecution.
Public consultation - strategic assessment
The strategic assessment report prepared as part of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) strategic assessment is open for public comment from 9 February 2012 to 13 March 2012, to provide the opportunity for public submissions regarding the impacts of the proposed plan on matters of national environmental significance. This is a public comment process run by AFMA and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, that meets the requirements of Part 10 and Part 13A of the EPBC Act.
The strategic assessment report has been prepared to address the terms of reference approved by the Delegate of the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in February 2012.
- Strategic Assessment Report - Northern Prawn Fishery (PDF - 956KB) | (Word - 1036KB) - February 2012
- Attachment 1 - Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment of the Northern Prawn Fishery (PDF - 32KB)
- Attachment 2 - Draft Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan (PDF - 486KB)
- Attachment 3 - Draft Assessment Report: Northern Prawn Fishery - 2004 (PDF - 1663KB)
- Attachment 4 - Joseph Bonaparte Gulf Box area of the NPF (PDF - 1728KB)
- Attachment 5 - Draft Harvest Strategy (PDF - 965KB)
- Attachment 6 - Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries (PDF - 116KB)
- Attachment 7 - Draft Northern Prawn Fishery Bycatch and Discarding Workplan 2011 - 2013 (PDF - 856KB)
- Attachment 8 - ABARES 2010 Fisheries Status Report for the NPF (PDF - 2384KB)
- Attachment 9 - NPF Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Protocols (PDF - 26KB)
- Attachment 10 - Ecological Risk Management Report for the Northern Prawn Fishery Tiger and Banana Prawn sub-fisheries 2011 (PDF - 422KB)
- Attachment 11 - AFMA Direction outlining specifications for TEDs and BRDs (PDF - 164KB)
It is possible that the final NPF Plan may change from the draft provided. Such changes will, in part, respond to public comments, and any additional changes recommended by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities or his delegate to better protect matters of national environmental significance.
Following public consultation, the draft NPF Plan and strategic assessment report will be updated and a report will be prepared summarising the public comments received and how they are addressed in the final NPF Plan and strategic assessment report. When finalised, these documents will be submitted to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (or his delegate) who will either recommend modifications or endorse the NPF Plan. Once a fishery management plan has been endorsed, the minister (or his delegate) must make a declaration that actions taken in a Commonwealth marine area, that are approved by AFMA in accordance with the plan, do not require approval under Part 9 of the EPBC Act for the purposes of sections 23 and 24A of the EPBC Act. This declaration is a legal step that allows fishing activities authorised under the plan to proceed without the need for further approval from the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
International Wildlife Trade
Consideration will also be given to:
- declaring the Northern Prawn Fishery, as managed consistent with the NPF Plan, an approved wildlife trade operation under section 303FN of the EPBC Act; and
- including in the list of exempt native specimens, specimens harvested in the Northern Prawn Fishery under the provisions of the NPF Plan.
Invitation to comment
In accordance with the provisions of sections 146, 303FR and 303DC of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on these proposals.
The invitation to comment is open from 9 February 2012 until 13 March 2012.
Please submit your comments to the address below.
Sustainable Fisheries Section
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Submissions may also be sent by fax to (02) 6275 9374, or email email@example.com
Any comments received will form part of the documentation provided to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for a decision. Copies of comments may be made available to other persons. If you wish to claim confidentiality for any part of your comments, would you please discuss the matter with the Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Section on (02) 6274 1917.