Strategic assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Australian Fisheries Management Authority, February 2012
Strategic assessment of the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery
In December 2011 the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities entered into an agreement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, as the minister administering the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, to undertake a strategic assessment of the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery.
Draft Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2012
The Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA), established under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, is responsible for management of commercial and traditional fishing in the Australian area of the Torres Strait, in accordance with the Torres Strait Treaty 1985 with Papua New Guinea.
The Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 provides for the PZJA to make plans or policies for the management of fisheries in the Torres Strait. The PZJA now intends to determine a plan of management for the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery (TSFF) under section 15A of the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 - the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2012 (TFFF Plan).
Public consultation - strategic assessment
The strategic assessment report prepared as part of the EPBC Act strategic assessment is open for public comment from 23 February 2012 to 26 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 administered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority on behalf of the PZJA, and 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 - Torres Strait Finfish Fishery (PDF - 468KB) | (Word - 1107KB)
- Attachment A - Torres Strait Finfish - Terms of Reference - Environmental Assessment of Fisheries (PDF - 33KB) | (Word - 30KB)
- Attachment B - PZJA Fisheries Management Instrument No.8 (PDF - 52KB) | (Word - 73KB)
- Attachment C - Example of Torres Strait Finfish Logbook TSF01 (PDF - 159KB)
- Attachment D - Example of Torres Strait Buyers and Processors Docket Book TDB01 (PDF - 63KB)
Additional information about the fishery:
- Draft Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2012 (PDF - 389KB)
- Explanatory Statement - Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Management Plan 2012 (PDf - 278KB) | (Word - 336KB)
- ABARES - Torres Strait Finfish Fishery Status Report 2010 (PDF - 1384KB)
It is possible that the final TSFF Plan may change from the draft provided. Such changes will, in part, respond to public comments, and any additional changes recommended by the Australian Government environment minister or his delegate to better protect matters of national environmental significance.
Following public consultation, the draft TSFF 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 TSFF Plan and strategic assessment report. When finalised, these documents will be submitted to the Australian Government environment minister (or his delegate) who will either recommend modifications or endorse the TSFF 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 the PZJA 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 Australian Government environment minister.
International Wildlife Trade
Consideration will also be given to:
- declaring the Torres Strait Finfish Fishery, as managed consistent with the TSFF 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 Torres Strait Finfish Fishery under the provisions of the TSFF 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 23 February 2012 until 26 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.