Australia proposes redfish catch limits

Published on
November 9, 2016

To help increase the regional redfish stock, the Australia Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is proposing a new total allowable catch (TAC) limit on the species.

Large catches of redfish were landed in the south-east during the 1980s and 1990s. In more recent years, catches have declined and “a stock assessment using the latest available science indicates that the stock needs to be rebuilt,” AFMA said in a press statement.

The redfish TAC will be set at the minimum amount required to cover the catch of redfish taken incidentally while targeting other species, according to AFMA’s draft Redfish Rebuilding Strategy 2016 – 2021.

AFMA is also proposing limited entry into the redfish fishery.

“New operators can only access the fishery by purchasing an existing concession. This limits expansion of effort directed at redfish,” AFMA wrote in the Rebuilding Strategy document.

AFMA is also calling for improvements in data collection that will provide a “better understanding of the status of the stock and its recovery.”

AFMA also said that, with increased amounts of data becoming available, targeted management arrangements will be developed for redfish that may include:

  • Development and evaluation of trawl net design to maximize yields and reduce the amount of incidental catch of small redfish.
  • Targeted monitoring (onboard observer or electronic monitoring) when fishing in areas of high historical redfish catch.
  • Implementation of trigger and move-on provisions for vessels reporting large catches of redfish if annual analysis by SERAG indicates that boats are targeting redfish.
  • Spatial and temporal closures if appropriate areas are identified and modeling shows that the resultant reduced catches will have a material effect on rebuilding
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