Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery

Variation to Declaration of an Approved Wildlife Trade Operation
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, S 89, 31 May 2005

Commonwealth of Australia
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Variation to Declaration of an Approved Wildlife Trade Operation

I, Mark Flanigan, Delegate of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, hereby vary under subsection 303FT(7b) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Declaration of an Approved Wildlife Trade Operation dated 29 November 2004 for the harvesting of specimens that are, or are derived from, fish or invertebrates, other than specimens of species listed under Part 13 of the Act, taken in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery, as defined in the Management Policy for the Small Pelagic Fishery 2002 made under the Fisheries Management Act 1991:

  1. Revoke condition a):
    • Is valid until 1 June 2005.
  2. Include a new condition a):
    • Is valid until 28 February 2006.
  3. Revoke condition b) and the Schedule:
    • Is subject to the conditions applied under s.303FT specified in the Schedule.
  4. Include a new condition b) and Schedule (dated May 2005):
    • Is subject to the conditions applied under s.303FT specified in the May 2005 Schedule.

Dated this 30 day of May 2005

[signed]

Mark Flanigan
Delegate of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage


Schedule

May 2005

Declaration of the Harvest Operations of the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery as an Approved Wildlife Trade Operation

Additional Provisions (s.303FT)

Relating to the harvesting of fish specimens that are, or are derived from, fish or invertebrates, other than specimens of species listed under Part 13 of the Act, taken in the Commonwealth Small pelagic Fishery, as defined in the Management Policy for the Small Pelagic Fishery 2002 made under the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

  1. Operation of the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) will be carried out in accordance with the Management Policy for the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery 2002 (SPFMP).
  2. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will inform the Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) of any changes to the SPFMP or other significant policy documents.
  3. In relation to the accidental catch of dolphins within the SPF, AFMA will:
    • Continue an observer program (with a high level of coverage) to determine the frequency of any interactions with cetaceans during mid-water trawl fishing.
    • Over the next 6 months implement an appropriate observer program to validate historically reported rates of interactions with cetaceans during purse seine fishing.
    • Ensure that all boats operating within the fishery have in place appropriate measures to detect dolphins in the vicinity of operations and implement measures to avoid fishing in areas where dolphins are observed.
    • Ensure that all fishing operators immediate notify AFMA and DEH of any dolphin captures.
    • Ensure that the skippers, crew and observers on all vessels operating in the fishery are thoroughly briefed on the above measures before leaving port.
  4. AFMA, in consultation with DEH, will over the next 6 months determine long term arrangements to address the interaction of cetaceans with fishing operations in the whole SPF. The long term arrangements should include, but not be limited to:
    • specific management measures;
    • review of potential mitigation measures (national and international);
    • data and monitoring arrangements;
    • research activities;
    • amendment of the Bycatch Action Plan.
  5. Operation of mid-water trawlers in the SPF will be carried out in accordance with the agreed strategy requiring operational protocols to be strictly observed by fishers and a program of action to mitigate the interaction with cetaceans and seals developed against the following milestones:
    • Underwater camera monitoring technology to be developed and implemented by September 2005;
    • The development of an effective inclined grid or other exclusion barrier to be commenced in July 2005 and progressed to an appropriate standard (as assessed by the Cetacean Mitigation Working Group - CMWG) by December 2005; and
    • The development of alternative mitigation strategies to increase the overall effectiveness of mitigation to be commenced in July 2005.
  6. AFMA, in consultation with DEH, and following recommendations of the CMWG and AFMA's quarterly report, will make an assessment of the program of action and reports about interactions and make a recommendation to the AFMA Board about fishing in the fishery.
  7. Reports to be produced and presented to DEH quarterly, and to include:
    • a summary of all protected species interactions reported in the SPF; and
    • information sufficient to allow assessment of the progress of AFMA in implementing the above conditions.