Northern Territory Shark Fishery

Declaration of an Approved Wildlife Trade Operation
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, S 487, 1 December 2004

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

I, Ian Cresswell, Assistant Secretary, Wildlife Trade and Sustainable Fisheries Branch, as Delegate of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, have considered in accordance with section 303FN of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act) the application from the Northern Territory Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development, public comments on the proposal as required under S303FR, and advice on the ecological sustainability of the operation. I am satisfied on those matters specified in Section 303FN of the Act. I hereby declare the operations 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 Northern Territory Shark Fishery, as defined in arrangements set out in the Northern Territory Fisheries Regulations made under the Northern Territory Fisheries Act 1988, to be an approved Wildlife Trade Operation, in accordance with S303FN (2) and (10)(d), for the purposes of the Act.

Unless amended or revoked, this declaration:

  1. is valid until 1 June 2005; and
  2. is subject to the conditions applied under s.303FT specified in the Schedule.

Dated this 29th day of November 2004

[Signed]

Ian Cresswell
Delegate of Minister for the Environment and Heritage

Under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, a person whose interests are affected by this decision may apply for a statement of reasons and for independent review of the decision. An application for a statement of reason may be made in writing to the Department of the Environment and Heritage within 28 days of the date of the declaration. An application for independent review may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on payment of the relevant fee within 28 days of the date of the declaration, or if reasons are sought, within 28 days of receipt of reasons. Further information may be obtained from the Director, Sustainable Fisheries Section.


Schedule

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 Northern Territory Shark Fishery, as defined in arrangements set out in the Northern Territory Fisheries Regulations (see Part 8, Division 5 - Shark Fishery) made under the Northern Territory Fisheries Act 1988

  1. Operation of the NT Shark Fishery (NTSF) will be carried out in accordance with the Management Regime for the Northern Territory Shark Fishery.
  2. The Northern Territory Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development (DBIRD) will inform the Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) of any changes to the NTSF management regime or other significant policy documents.
  3. In relation to data collection in the NTSF, DBIRD will:
    • Continue current observer coverage at no less than 7%; and
    • By June 2005 conduct an assessment of the observer coverage needs sufficient to meet sustainability objectives for the fishery and develop a scientifically robust program for implementation from 2006.
  4. DBIRD to review available observer data to identify bycatch issues and need for mitigation measures by June 2005.
  5. DBIRD to review the adequacy of current management objectives, performance indicators, trigger points and management actions and develop species-specific measures based on a risk analysis by June 2005.
  6. DBIRD to implement by January 2005:
    • 25% reduction in total allowable longline length
    • Limit of 1,000 hooks per licence
    • Prohibition on the use of automatic baiting devices
    • A cap of 234 longline fishing days/annum
    • 20% reduction in total allowable gillnet length
    • Maximum 100 mesh drop
    • A cap of 1,599 pelagic net fishing days/annum
    • Mesh size reduction to between 160 and 185 mm
  7. By June 2005, DBIRD to develop a program to undertake formal stock assessments for blacktip sharks and Grey mackerel.
    • Preliminary assessment of Grey mackerel to be completed by June 2005 as the basis for a review of the management of this species by December 2005.
  8. By June 2005, DBIRD to develop a program to identify shark fin on a species specific basis in anticipation of the national fin docketing system.
  9. By June 2005, DBIRD to re-establish the Shark Management Advisory Committee (SharkMAC) as the primary stakeholder consultative mechanism for the fishery. SharkMAC to include participation from DBIRD, commercial, recreational, Indigenous, conservation, research and cross-jurisdictional stakeholders.
  10. Reports to be produced and presented to DEH quarterly, and to include:
    • a summary of all protected species interactions reported in the NTSF; and
    • an assessment of the effectiveness of the No Take Policy on saw fish species.
    • assessment of the progress of DBIRD in implementing the above conditions.

See also