2 March 2007
The 2005 Fishery Status Reports, produced annually by the Bureau of Rural Sciences, are available online.
The reports provide an independent review of the status of commercial fisheries managed by the Australian Government, and jointly with other jurisdictions in some cases.
Around 160 species of fish are regularly landed from Australia's Commonwealth managed fisheries. The 2005 Reports show that of the 83 species assessed in that year, 24 were classified as over-fished and/or subject to over-fishing, up from 17 the previous year. Of the remaining species, 19 were classified as 'not over-fished' and 40 are classified as 'uncertain'.
The Reports are based on assessments carried out by research agencies, including state and territory agencies, CSIRO and BRS. The Reports cover species managed solely by the Commonwealth Government, through AFMA, as well as species managed jointly with other jurisdictions including international Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
The 2005 Fishery Status Reports are now available online.
A full copy of the Fishery Status Reports can be found at - www.affa.gov.au/statusreports
Further information about the Australian Government's Securing our Fishing Future package can be found at - http://www.daff.gov.au/fishingfuture
Further information about the changes to Commonwealth fisheries management can be found at - http://www.afma.gov.au/securing/direction.htm
More information on the Australian Government's Marine Protected Areas programme can be found at - http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mpa/
A number of incidents involving the Japanese whaling fleet and anti-whaling activists brought a warning from the Australian Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull MP, last month.
Mr Turnbull condemned the Sea Shepherd activist group's dangerous confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, including a threat to ram vessels in the whaling fleet.
A minke whale. Image courtesy of Matt Curnock.
"The Australian Government's position on whaling is unchanged," Mr Turnbull said. "However, while we remain strongly opposed to all commercial and scientific whaling, we urge the Sea Shepherd group to refrain from further dangerous actions."
Mr Turnbull's comments followed the search for two members of Sea Shepherd's own crew, including an Australian citizen, who were later found safe after drifting in a small boat in dangerous sea conditions.
"This is not about whaling. It is simply unacceptable for any vessel to threaten or to use violence against other ships at sea. These are dangerous and irresponsible actions,'' Mr Turnbull said.
In a later incident unrelated to the clashes with activists, the Japanese whaling fleet's mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, caught fire with the loss of one crew member.
Five new directors have been appointed to the Board of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.
AFMA Board Chairman Mr Anthony Rundle. Image courtesy of AFMA
Australian Fisheries and Conservation Minister, Senator Eric Abetz, announced the reappointment of Mr Ian Cartwright and Dr Keith Sainsbury from Tasmania, Mr Brian Jeffriess of South Australia and Mr Richard Stevens from Queensland, for a term ending the 30th June 2008.
Senator Abetz also announced the appointment of Ms Denise North from New South Wales for a first term ending the 30th June 2008.
Senator Abetz said the new Board will complement AFMA's Chairman, the Honourable Anthony Rundle, and Government Director, Mr Daryl Quinlivan.
"During such a time of change it is important to have the right mix of skills, expertise and experience to continue the good work of AFMA and provide sound stewardship during the transition of AFMA to an independent Fisheries Authority in 2008," Senator Abetz said.
Senator Abetz thanked retiring Director, the Honourable John Bennett for his stewardship and contribution to the strategic direction of the Authority and wished him well in his future endeavours.
Mr Cartwright is an existing Board member serving his second term. Mr Cartwright has an MSc (Economics), is Chair of the Tasmanian Fisheries Research Advisory Board and chair of various fisheries committees. Mr Cartwright's expertise base covers commercial fishing, fisheries science, natural resource management, marine ecology, economics and business management.
Dr Sainsbury is an existing Board member also serving his second term. Dr Sainsbury is Director SainSolutions, Professor of Marine Systems Science (University of Tasmania) and Vice-Chair of the Marine Stewardship Council. Dr Sainsbury's internationally recognised expertise covers fisheries science, natural resource management and marine ecology.
Mr Jeffriess is an existing Board member commencing his third term. Mr Jeffriess has a BA (Economics), is Chair of the Tuna Boat Owners' Association, Director of the Aquafin Co-operative Research Centre and Director of the Australian Fisheries Academy. Mr Jeffriess expertise covers commercial fishing, natural resource management, economics and business management.
Mr Stevens is an existing Board member commencing his second term. Mr Stevens has a BEcon, is a Director of Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Director of the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority and chair/member of several NSW and Queensland fisheries committees. Mr Stevens' expertise covers natural resource management, fishing industry operations and economics.
Ms North has a BEcon, MBA and GCDC (AICD), is Chairman of Directors Streetwise Communications Ltd, Board member of International House, University of Sydney and has held executive and board positions with SingTel Optus and numerous other private sector incorporated organisations. Ms North's expertise covers economics and business management, including corporate and business strategy development and organisational change.
A diver explores soft coral in the Coral Sea. Image courtesy of Mike Ball.
The Australian Coral Reef Society's 83rd Annual Conference will be held in Fremantle Western Australia, from 9-11 October.
The theme of the 2007 conference is: 'East Meets West: Science and Management of Australia's Coral Reefs'.
Mr Ben Fitzgibbon, of the Conference Organising Committee said the aim of this year's conference was to attract participation from a wide range of scientists, managers, industry representatives and students from around the country.
The conference will include three days of presentations, talks from Australian and international plenary speakers, several social functions, and workshops for presenters and students on the following day.
The cost of students travelling from interstate will be heavily subsidised, and registration costs will be kept low to encourage attendance.
To learn more about this year's conference, go to - www.australiancoralreefsociety.org