A register of licence holders for Torres Strait fisheries, with the exception of the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, is now publicly available on the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) website and can be viewed, downloaded and printed.
The purpose of the register is to provide greater transparency for communities, commercial fishers and fish receivers in the Torres Strait.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) Torres Strait Fisheries Manager, Selina Stoute, said the public licence register provides awareness for fishers, fish receivers, and the public of the number of licences active in a fishery, including basic details of who holds each licence and, where applicable, the details of any catch allocations.
“Having this information available improves transparency for all stakeholders in the management of Torres Strait fisheries by openly displaying who owns licences and the number of licences that exist” Ms Stoute said.
“It will also help industry to comply with fisheries regulations, such as maintaining active licences and meeting the requirements of the fish receiver system, which will be implemented on 1 December 2017.
“Additionally, it also provides a self-service tool for fishers and fish receivers to check their own licences, and to be sure the individuals they are each dealing with hold valid licences.
“The registers will not make public any personal information of licence holders such as contact details.”
The decision to implement the register follows support from PZJA working groups for the Tropical Rock Lobster, Finfish, and Hand Collectable Fisheries. Comment was also sought from all licence holders, and all submissions received were in support of developing the register.
Consultation on a public register of licences and units of fishing capacity is currently being undertaken for the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, with the hope of including this fishery in the future.