21 November 2017 is World Fisheries Day and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is celebrating the fourth consecutive year where no stocks managed solely by the Commonwealth have been subject to overfishing.
AFMA’s CEO, Dr James Findlay, said it is a great day for celebrating Australian fisheries, from those who enjoy dropping in a line on the weekend, to commercial operators on the high seas, and those who just love local, sustainable seafood.
“Australian fisheries management is some of the most effective in the world, and we are looking to make it stronger through more comprehensive engagement with recreational and Indigenous fishers,” Dr Findlay said.
“Changes to the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 now allows for greater input from recreational and Indigenous fishers so they can share their expertise and views on fisheries management.
“Part of this change is to increase the size of Management Advisory Committees to allow for broader input into these important consultative committees.
“AFMA will also look at expanding memberships for Resource Assessment Groups to also include broader input where relevant.
“Over the coming months AFMA will be consulting with Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishers, and other key stakeholders to identify how to better collaborate on fisheries matters.
“We’d also like to consider the possibility of establishing new consultative groups and forums, but this will depend on the level of interest from Indigenous and recreational fishers.
“Expanding our engagement with these sectors and establishing news positions and groups will be a big job, but it is an important task for AFMA as these committees, groups, and forums provide invaluable advice and recommendations to inform fisheries management decisions, such as setting catch limits for fish.
“AFMA proactively seeks input from commercial and recreational fishers, industry, scientists, and environmental groups and with a renewed focus on accounting for interests of recreational and Indigenous fishers’ interests, our fisheries will now have an ever wider range of experts weighing in.
“Overall, it means that this World Fisheries Day everyone can celebrate our great fisheries, and those who contribute to its sustainability.”