Australia: State of the Environment Second Technical Paper Series (Coasts and Oceans), Series 2
David Barratt, John Garvey and Jean Chesson
Bureau of Resource Sciences, Australia
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2001
ISBN 0 6425 4745 9
Appendix V - Sections of the Management Plans and Legislation Relevant to Monitoring Non-target Species
The act under which Commonwealth fisheries are regulated is the Fisheries Management Act 1991. One of the stated objectives of this act specifically addresses the issue of the impacts of fishing on aquatic ecosystems;
3 (1) (b) "ensuring that the exploitation of fisheries resources and the carrying on of any related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle, in particular the need to have regard to the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the long term sustainability of the marine environment;"
This legislation allows for the making of management plans for Commonwealth fisheries (Section 17). A management plan must have these components;
17 (5) "A plan of management for a fishery is to set out
(a) the objectives of the plan of management; and
(b) measures by which the objectives are to be attained; and
(c) performance criteria against which the measures taken may be assessed."
and there is specific mention of the ability of these plans to deal with bycatch;
17 (6D) "A plan of management for a fishery must contain provisions for the incidental catch of non-target commercial and other species to be reduced to a minimum."
The Fisheries Management Regulations have two regulations that give AFMA additional abilities to monitor bycatch. Regulation 18 allows for observers to be carried on vessels operating in Commonwealth fisheries while Regulations 31 to 36 relate to the use of logbooks to monitor the catch of those fisheries.
Three management plans were in effect on the 30th June 1999, while one other, the South East Trawl Management Plan 1998, was operating under transitional arrangements. Each management plan has objectives, measures, and performance criteria sections as well as other sections specific to the fishery.
Great Australian Bight Trawl Fishery Management Plan 1993 (GAB1)
This plan does not mention the monitoring of bycatch. However, there are some general sections that do have some relevance. One objective of the plan is;
4 (c) "to ensure that the exploitation of fish resources and related activities are consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development"
Two of the measures in the plan could possibly be interpreted as incorporating bycatch monitoring;
5 (f) "the implementation of a program of research relevant to the management of the fishery; and"
5 (g) "the establishment of an effective program of catch monitoring--"
There are two general performance criteria listed to assess these measures;
6.1 (b) "the status of the biological resources and environmental conditions of the fishery areas; and"
6.1 (c) "the implementation of a research program contributing effectively to the management of the fishery"
The plan makes it an obligation for the holders of statutory fishing rights to provide AFMA with logbook and other biological data.
Southern bluefin tuna fishery management plan 1995 (SBT01)
This plan does have a number of sections specifically dealing with the monitoring of bycatch. One objective of the plan is;
4 (b) "to ensure that the use of Australia's national catch allocation for a season is consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, having regard, in particular, to the impact of fishing activities in the SBT Fishery on ecologically related species;"
One measure listed is;
5 (h) "monitoring, by the collection of data and samples, the impact of fishing in the SBT Fishery on ecologically related species, and implementing any practical strategies that are necessary to minimise the impact of that fishing on those species;"
This measure's performance is given this performance criterion;
6.1 (g) "that practical strategies are implemented to minimise the impact of fishing activities in the SBT Fishery on ecologically related species;"
There are a number of obligations of holders of statutory fishing rights and fishing permits in regard to monitoring. These are;
- keep a logbook (under the relevant Fisheries Management Regulations);
- provide AFMA with biological and other data if requested;
- allow observers on board the fishing vessel.
Northern Prawn fishery management plan 1995 (NPF01)
This plan has a number of sections dealing with bycatch. This issue is specifically mentioned in the objectives of the plan;
4 (b) "that the incidental catch of non-target commercial and other species in that Fishery is reduced to a minimum;"
Monitoring of bycatch is one of the measures listed;
5 (g) "monitoring the impact of catching operations in the fishery on ecologically related species and implementing any practical strategies that are necessary to minimise the impact of those operations on those species;"
Another relevant measure is;
5 (h) "developing and implementing a by-catch action plan;"
However only a generalised performance criterion for these measures is given;
6 (b) "the status of the biological resources and environmental conditions in the northern Prawn Fishery area;"
The holders of fishing concessions have a number of obligations including;
- provide AFMA with logbook information (under the relevant Fisheries Management Regulations);
- provide AFMA with biological and other data; and
- comply with any by-catch action plan to minimise bycatch
Northern Prawn Fishery Bycatch Action Plan 1998 (NORMAC 1998)
This action plan has two primary aims. These are to;
- eliminate to the greatest extent feasible, the catch of large animals such as turtles and stingrays, and
- reduce substantially the high ratio of bycatch to prawns.
These aims are pursued through the phasing in of compulsory Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs), the establishment of targets for the reduction of bycatch, the widespread distribution of bycatch education material and facilitation of further research into bycatch reduction. One of the specific measures is;
3 "To ensure bycatch is monitored in the NPF"
The plan is to introduce an effective bycatch monitoring system into the NPF by 2001. Research is currently underway on this issue.
South East Trawl Fishery Management Plan 1998 (SET01)
This plan is currently operating under transitional arrangements. One of the objectives of the plan is;
3 (a) "to pursue the sustainable use of resources of the SET Fishery in a manner consistent with the exercise of the precautionary principle, while seeking to minimise any adverse impacts of fishing on the marine environment;"
There are a number of relevant measures by which the objectives of the plan are to be pursued. Those relevant to bycatch are;
4 (b) "using the results of research in relation to the SET Fishery to aid in the development and implementation of a strategy that ensures that fishing in the SET Fishery is carried out in an ecologically sustainable way; and"
4 (c) "monitoring, by collecting data and samples, the impact of fishing in the SET Fishery on ecologically related species and the marine environment, and implementing any practical strategies that are necessary to ensure the sustainability of those species and the marine environment; and
4 (d) "developing and implementing a research strategy (including timely provision and analysis of data) for the SET Fishery to ensure that sufficient information is available to assist in making management decisions in relation to the SET Fishery; and"
4 (e) "developing and implementing a by-catch action plan (including an appropriate research strategy) for the SET Fishery;"
The performance criteria relevant to the issue of bycatch are;
5.1 (f) "that a by-catch action plan has been developed for the SET Fishery that:
i) assesses the impact of trawling in the SET Fishery; and
ii) provides for research into alternative management strategies, including possible changes to the fishing gear used in the SET Fishery; and
iii) implements measures to minimise the adverse effects of fishing on the environment;"
5.1 (i) "that the strategies implemented, under paragraph 4 (c), to ensure the sustainability of ecologically related species and the marine environment are meeting their objectives;"
There are a number of obligations that holders of fishing concessions are under including;
- the provision of logbook information to AFMA (under the relevant Fisheries Management Regulations); and
- provide AFMA with biological and other data (paragraph 20); and
- to carry an observer (paragraph 19.2 g); and
- 19.2 (e) "take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the incidental catch of any species that the holder is not entitled to take is kept to a minimum;"
The South East Fishery also has an Industry Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing which sets out a number of voluntary guidelines. These include;
- that Industry should adopt "worlds best practice" to reduce waste,
- that selective fishing gears should be used,
- that Industry should encourage the development and implementation of technologies to reduce discards,
- that operators should co-operate in technologies, materials and methods to minimise gear loss, and
- that crews should be conversant with proper procedures to ensure that discharges do not exceed MARPOL 73/78 levels.
The legislation under which Queensland fisheries are regulated is the Fisheries Act 1994. One of the stated objectives of this act relating to the issue of environmental impact is;
3.(1)(a) "ensuring fisheries resources are used in an ecologically sustainable way"
The Act allows for the making of Management Plans for fisheries. Management Plans can also be made for fish habitat. Management Plans must have objectives and specify how they are to be achieved and is specifically allowed to deal with non-fish bycatch.
38A. "A management plan may be made to protect things that are not fish.
Example-A management plan may regulate taking or possessing fish in an area to protect dugong in the area."
Section 118 states that fishers required by Regulation must keep records and "other information" and supply them to the State fisheries agency.
Queensland fisheries are regulated under the Fisheries Regulation 1995. Regulation 109 requires certain people to complete and submit fishing returns to the State fisheries agency. There are a number of regulations relating to the use of TEDs and BRDs in Queensland trawl fisheries (e.g. Schedule 14 paragraph 7 and 17A). Other regulations are for making of management plans (Regulations 12 and 13), the declaration of prohibited areas, restricted areas, gear restrictions, closed seasons, and size limits.
There are 13 managed marine or estuarine fisheries in Queensland. At the 30th June 1999, management plans were in operation for the Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish and the Spanner crab fisheries. Draft plans were prepared for the Coral Reef Fish Species and the Trawl (prawn/scallop) fisheries. The Queensland Fisheries Management Authority seeks to have all fisheries under management plans by the end of 2000. The current management plans and draft plans are discussed below.
Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Finfish Management Plan
This plan has these objectives regarding the sustainability of stocks and the catch of vulnerable/threatened species;
4 (1) (a) "maintain inshore fin fish stocks at sustainable levels; and"
4 (1) (c) "minimise unintended adverse effects of fishing on protected wildlife;"
The measures and criteria for these objectives are discussed in Schedule 2 of the plan. Regarding objective 4 (1) (a), there is a bycatch component where the plan intends to "minimise the catch of non-target species" (Schedule 2, paragraph 2 (c)), although there is no mention of how that is to be measured, or any target given. For objective 4 (1) (c), part 3 of Schedule 2 says that this is to be achieved through the use of closed areas, requirements to attend nets, and some gear restrictions. The recording of incidental catches of protected wildlife is to be recorded, and other indicators will be the measure of compliance with the closed areas, attendance and gear restrictions. A review of the objective must be done if "the recorded incidental catch of protected wildlife significantly increases" (Schedule 2, paragraph 12 (a)), or if compliance with the restrictions fall.
Spanner Crab Management Plan
This plan has a general objective in regards to the sustainability of the fishery;
4 (1) (a) "ensure spanner crabs are used in an ecologically sustainable way"
Schedule 2 of this plan gives the measures and criteria that are to be used for this objective, however there is no reference to bycatch of the fishery, or any provision to monitor catch of any species other than spanner crabs.
Draft Coral reef Finfish Management Plan
This plan has two general objectives in regards to the sustainability of the fishery and monitoring;
2 (1) (a) "ensure coral reef fin fish stocks are managed in an ecologically sustainable way to maintain or improve the stock levels; and"
2 (1) (e) "improve the availability and accuracy of information about the fishery."
Schedule 1 sets out the measures and criteria that are to be used for these objectives. While there are no specific measures for bycatch, two review events for 2 (1) (a) are;
4 (a) "information the Authority reasonably believes is accurate shows any 1 of the following-
(iii) the fishery is having a significant impact on stocks of fish other than coral reef fin fish and the environment on which the other fish depend; and"
4 (b) "information the Authority reasonably believes is accurate shows the following-
(iii) the fishery is causing a significant impact on the ecosystem where the fishery occurs;
Part 5 of Schedule 1 (paragraphs 17 to 20) deals with objective 2 (1) (e). The methods used for this objective are the use of a compulsory commercial logbook and surveys of recreational fishers.
Draft East Coast Trawl fishery Management Plan
This plan has two relevant objectives;
4 (1) (b) "ensure fisheries resources taken in the fishery are taken in an ecologically sustainable way; and"
4 (1) (c) "ensure the sustainability of the fishery's ecological systems;"
Schedule 2 of the plan details how these objectives are to be met. Part 3 of schedule 2 deals specifically with objective 4 (1) (c). The methods proposed are limiting effort, closing areas, restricting gear and to enforce the use of BRDs. The achievement of the objective is to me measured by;
11 "Achievement of the objective may be measured only by surveys or studies, accepted by the Authority, of commercial fishing for target species by the use of trawl nets in the fishery."
Specific trigger levels are given for determining a need to review the plan. Those triggers that relate to bycatch and habitat are;
12 (a) "a scientific study, accepted by the Authority, shows the amount for any of the following is not, by 1 January 2005, reduced by the following percentage compared with an amount reported in a scientific study before this section commenced-
(ii) the incidental catch of fish other than target species-40%; and"
12 (c) "turtle capture or mortality in trawling operations is in any year more than 5% of the level of turtle capture or mortality recorded for 1995;"
12 (d) "the Authority receives a logbook return for the fishery that shows trawling has happened in an area represented on a grid stated in the logbook where trawling has not previously been recorded in a logbook return."
The legislation under which New South Wales fisheries are managed is the Fisheries Management Act 1994. One of the stated objectives of this act relating to the issue of environmental impact is;
3.(2) "In particular, the objects of this Act include:
(a) to conserve fish stocks and key fish habitats, and
(b) to conserve threatened species, populations and ecological communities of fish and marine vegetation, and
(c) to promote ecologically sustainable development, including the conservation of biological diversity,"
The legislation allows for the preparing of management plans for share managed fisheries. This is detailed in division 5 of the act (sections 56 through 65). This plan may deal with;
57 (1) "The management plan for a share management fishery may make provision for or with respect to the following:
(d) the fish that may be taken in the fishery, and
(j) the protection of the habitats of the species of fish that may be taken in the fishery (including habitats at all stages of the life history of any such species),"
57 (2) "A management plan must:
(a) include performance indicators to monitor whether the objectives of the plan and ecologically sustainable development are being attained, and
(b) specify at what point a review of the management plan is required when a performance indicator is not being satisfied."
The legislation requires that commercial fishers must make a record of all fish taken and it also has provision for the listing of threatened species, habitats and communities. Details are given for the development of recovery plans and threat abatement plans.
The regulations for managing NSW fisheries are contained in the Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 1995. Two types of fisheries are defined in these regulations, commercial share managed fisheries and restricted fisheries. As of 30th June 1999, the Abalone and Rock Lobster fisheries were declared commercial share managed fisheries. All other NSW fisheries were restricted fisheries. No management plans are in effect in NSW and no formal public comment has taken place. Aspects of the proposed plans for the two commercial share managed fisheries have been reviewed by the appropriate Management Advisory Committee's and there have been discussion papers produced for these and other fisheries.
The legislation under which Victorian fisheries are managed is the Fisheries Act 1995. Two of the stated objectives of this act relating to the issue of environmental impact are;
3 (a) "to provide for the management, development and use of Victoria's fisheries, aquaculture industries and associated aquatic biological resources in an efficient, effective and ecologically sustainable manner; and"
3 (b) "to protect and conserve fisheries resources, habitats and ecosystems including the maintenance of aquatic ecological processes and genetic diversity; "
Part 3 of the Act (Sections 28 through 35) allow for the making of management plans for Victorian fisheries. Management plans may also be prepared for noxious aquatic species and for fisheries reserves. The management plan must set out the objectives of the plan, and specify the measures to be used to achieve those objectives, and specify performance indicators, targets and monitoring method. In particular, a management plan must;
28 (6) (g) "as far as relevant and practicable, identify in respect of the fishery, declared noxious aquatic species or fisheries reserve, the biological, ecological, social and economic factors relevant to its management including--
(ii) measures to minimise its impact on non-target species and the environment;"
Under Schedule 3 of the Act, fishers are requited to keep records and furnish returns and other information (paragraph 7.2).
The Fisheries Regulations 1998 contain the regulations that allow for the management of Victoria's fisheries. While the monitoring of bycatch is not specifically dealt with in these regulations, there are a number which state that fishers must ensure that monthly catch and effort returns be completed and forwarded to the State authority.
As of 30th June 1999, no fisheries management plans were in operation in Victoria and none were available for public comment.
The legislation under which Tasmanian fisheries are managed is the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995. One of the stated objectives of this act relating to the issue of environmental impact is;
7 (1) "The purpose of this Act is to achieve sustainable development of living marine resources having regard to the need to -
(b) provide and maintain sustainability of living marine resources;"
The Act allows for the making of management plans for fisheries (Section 32). Some of the rules that can be made for a fishery are;
39 "Rules may be made in relation to the following matters relating to fish and fishing:
(c) requirements relating to any accidental or incidental taking of fish in a fishery;
(i) the measures to limit accidental or incidental catches;
(j) the measures to offset arrangements to compensate for damage to the environment done by fishing or damage to kinds or species of fish which is prohibited or restricted by a management plan;"
Section 40 allows for the making of rules for the keeping of records and submissions of returns by fishers, the participation by fishers in research programs and the requirement to carry observers or research personnel for research, monitoring or compliance purposes.
Part 5 of the Act (Sections 104 through 140) allows for the protection of marine habitat. Rules may be made for;
104 (3) (f) "reporting, notification, marking, identification, landing or monitoring requirements in respect of any activity likely to have a detrimental effect on the environment;"
Under these sections a number of different plans can be made for the protection of marine habitat.
Part 6 of the Act (Sections 141 through 151) allows for the collection of information;
144 "The Secretary is to make arrangements for the collection of information relating to the fishing industry and the protection of the marine environment -
(a) to assess fish stocks and the amount of fish caught, processed and exported; and
(b) to provide details about the effect of any activity under a licence on the marine environment;"
Sections 146 through 151 deal with the establishment of a scientific observer scheme.
Tasmanian fisheries are managed by the Fisheries (General and Fees) regulations 1996, the Fisheries Rules 1996 and five separate rules relating to management plans for specific fisheries. As on 30th June 1999 these were;
Fisheries (Abalone) Rules 1997;
Fisheries (Giant Crab) Rules 1997;
Fisheries (Rock Lobster) Rules 1997;
Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 1998;
Fisheries (Scallop) Rules 1999;
None of these documents have sections dealing with the monitoring of bycatch, although some of them (Rock Lobster and Scalefish) have some limits on the type of bycatch (by-product) allowed.
Policy documents have been released for four of the five fisheries with management plans. These are Abalone, Giant Crab, Rock Lobster and Scalefish. Most of these documents do not deal with bycatch monitoring. The Abalone policy documents bycatch concerns are to limit access by divers to other high value products (lobsters), while the Giant Crab document is concerned with giant crab bycatch from other fisheries.
The Rock Lobster policy document addresses the bycatch issue through limiting the soak time of pots (so that animals may be returned live to the water) and escape gaps. Habitat issues are addressed via marine protected areas. A monitoring strategy for bycatch was not discussed.
Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Policy Document
The Scalefish Fishery Policy Document (July 1998) discusses a number of issues relating to bycatch. The stated objective for environmental interactions is;
"To minimise the environmental impact of scalefish fishing methods generally, and particularly in areas of special ecological significance. Reduce by-catch of juveniles and non-target species." (DPIEF 1998, p24)
A number of strategies are proposed. These are;
- Prohibit or restrict fishing in those waters that are of special ecological significance.
- Employ measures to reduce the catch and mortality of non-target or undersized fish.
- Prohibit or restrict the taking of species of high conservation value, or species whose populations are highly vulnerable to exploitation.
- Reduce the impact of fishing gear on the marine environment.
- Encourage responsible fishing practices.
The document discusses performance indicators of a range of objectives, and gives some specific trigger points for a review of the plan (DPIEF 1998, p26). Two of the trigger points deals with "catch and incidental mortality of non-target species and undersized fish" (DPIEF 1998, p27);
- "A change in the catch of "trash" or non-commercial fish relative to 1990 to 1997 records; or"
- "incidental mortality of non-commercial species or undersize commercial fish is unacceptably high."
The monitoring of the catch of non-target species and undersized fish is not discussed in any detail in the policy document, except that the development of a formal stock assessment process is seen as very important. Also, it is planned to monitor catches in estuaries and Shark Nursery Areas since they are considered key areas.
The legislation under which South Australian fisheries are managed is the Fisheries Act 1982. One of the stated objectives of this act relating to the issue of environmental impact is;
20 (a) "ensuring, through proper conservation, preservation and fisheries management measures, that the living resources of the waters to which this Act applies are not endangered or overexploited;"
The Act allows for the Regulations to be made for "for the conservation, enhancement and management of the living resources of the waters to which this Act applies" (Section 46). Regulations that pertain to a particular fishery can be put together as a "Scheme of Management". This same section requires that fishers supply the State authority information "relating to those fishing activities and any matters ancillary or incidental to or connected with those fishing activities" (Section 46 (l)). Section 48B allows for the development of management plans for a marine park
South Australia has seven Schemes of Management for most of its marine fisheries. These are;
Scheme of Management (Abalone Fisheries) Regulations 1991
Scheme of Management (Blue Crab Fishery) Regulations 1998
Scheme of Management (Lakes and Coorong Fishery) Regulations 1991
Scheme of Management (Rock Lobster Fisheries) Regulations 1991
Scheme of Management (Miscellaneous Fishery) Regulations 1984
Scheme of Management (Prawn Fisheries) Regulations 1991
Scheme of Management (Marine Scalefish Fisheries) Regulations 1991
The monitoring of bycatch is not dealt with in these Regulations, however they all require fishers to furnish catch and effort information to the State authority.
Policy documents also exist for these fisheries, however they could not be obtained in time to be used in this report.
The legislation under which Western Australian fisheries are managed is the Fish Resources Management Act 1994. This Act has a number of stated objectives relating to the issue of environmental impact of fishing. These are;
3 (2) (a) "to conserve fish and to protect their environment; and"
3 (2) (b) "to ensure that the exploitation of fish resources is carried out in a sustainable manner;"
Section 54 of the Act allows for the making of management plans for fisheries. Section 62 of the Act allows the plan to deal with;
62 (f) "require persons engaged in fishing in the fishery to participate in research programmes and to carry scientific equipment;"
62 (g) "require persons engaged in fishing in the fishery to carry observers or research personnel for the purposes of research, monitoring or compliance programmes;"
62 (k) "specify requirements relating to any bycatch of fish in the fishery"
62 (q) "require specified records to be kept, and specified returns to be submitted at specified times, by-."
Section 258 also allows Regulations to be make requiring fishers to record and submit information to the State authority.
Regulation 64 in the Fish Resources Management Regulations 1995 describes what records must be kept by fishers including;
64 (a) "the catch of fish;"
There are 33 management plans in effect in Western Australia. Unfortunately copies of these plans are unavailable to date and they cannot be assessed. However, it is reported that only one of the plans currently mentions bycatch (Joanne Bunting, pers comm).
Western Australia has adopted the National Policy on Fisheries Bycatch. This policy as it relates to Western Australia is currently prepared and will document the program for implementation of the Western Australian Policy on Fisheries Bycatch. This implementation plan was prepared in association with the Bycatch Liaison Group which consists of representatives from the Conservation Council of Western Australia, Western Australian Fishery Industry Council, Recfishwest and the Marine and Coastal Community Network
Each fishery will be considered separately and it was recognised that individual fisheries will vary in level of significance and nature of the bycatch, and accordingly in their management requirements. Western Australian fisheries were separated into three groups in order of their priority. In the first group are all trawl fisheries. In the second are net, long line, pot and trap commercial fisheries with potentially significant bycatch issues and/or which occur in sensitive or socially important environments. The third group contains those fisheries with less significant bycatch issues. Some highly selective fisheries such as the as the Marine Aquarium Fishery and the Specimen Shell Fishery are not considered to have bycatch issues.
Western Australia has commenced work on a demersal trawl bycatch desktop study focussed on trawling in Shark Bay. Work has already been done on the effectiveness of BRDs in the Shark Bay trawl fisheries. The results of this work are currently being analysed. Western Australia has submitted proposals for funding for the development of bycatch action plans for trawl fisheries, including the Shark Bay prawn and scallop fisheries and the Pilbara fish trawl fishery.
Western Australia has a series of reports relating to management of its fisheries. Fisheries Management Paper No. 128 is the draft Shark Bay Pink Snapper Management Plan 1999 that was released in July 1999. This draft plan does not contain any sections dealing with the bycatch issues of this fishery. Fisheries Management Paper No.114 is the Strategy for the Future Management of the Joint Authority Northern Shark Fishery (a fishery which is managed jointly with the Commonwealth). Section 3 of the paper discusses the bycatch issues of the fishery. One of the proposed objectives of management is;
4.1 (2) "to minimise the by-catch of scalefish and the accidental capture of marine cetaceans;"
The monitoring of the fishery is considered in Section 4.6, which recommends that fishers complete research logbooks. A detailed assessment of all Western Australian Fisheries Management Papers was not attempted.
The legislation under which the fisheries of the Northern Territory are managed is the Fisheries Act. The legislation itself does not contain objectives, however the section regarding fishery management plans states;
21 (1) "The purpose of this Part is to conserve, enhance, protect, utilise, and manage the fish and aquatic life resources of the Territory to -
(c) ensure that the fisheries of the Territory are not endangered or overexploited;
(d) ensure that the habitats of fish or aquatic life and the general environment is not detrimentally affected."
Part III of the legislation (sections 21 through 27) sets out the operation of fishery management plans in the Territory. Schedule 2 of the Act sets out the matters that may be provided for in a fishery management plan. When the fishery management plan is prepared then;
25 (2A) "There may be included with each proposed plan prepared under section 23, but so as not to form part of the plan -
(a) an outline of the history and status of the fishery;
(b) the policy and objectives of the plan; and
(c) such other information relating to the fishery, as the Director thinks fit."
Section 34 gives the Territory fisheries authority the ability to require fishers to collect and forward data on their catches.
Three fishery management plans were in operation up to 30th June 1999. These were;
- Barramundi Fishery Management Plan
- Mud Crab Fishery Management Plan
- Spanish Mackerel Fishery Management Plan
None of these fishery management plans have sections dealing with bycatch or bycatch monitoring.