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Australian Fisheries Management Authority—Report for 2019-20


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Australian Fisheries Management Authority

ii

Cover© Commonwealth of Australia 2020

ISSN 1039-3099 (Print)

ISSN 2205-2739 (Online)

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at http://www.ag.gov.au/cca

Published by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Cover and infographics designed by:

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Contact officer: Virginia Voce Postal address: PO Box 7051 Canberra Business Centre Canberra ACT 2610

Office address: 15 Lancaster Place Majura Park ACT 2609

Phone enquiries: 02 6225 5555 Email: info [at] afma.gov.au

Website: afma.gov.au

View this report online - Corporate publications & reports - Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

Front cover photos: Left to right:

AFMA Fisheries Officer waiting at port Photo courtesy AFMA Media Library

Destruction of seized vessel Photo courtesy AFMA Media Library

Scallops unloading Photo courtesy AFMA Media Library

Fishing boat unloading on the dock Photo courtesy AFMA Media Library

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of contents .......................................................................................................... iii

Transmittal Letter ......................................................................................................... vi

User guide .................................................................................................................... vii

Chairman's and CEO review ........................................................................................ 1

Our performance and achievements .............................................................................. 1

Impact of COVID-19 ....................................................................................................... 3

FEATURE STORY: Placement of an observer during COVID-19 .................................. 5

Outlook ........................................................................................................................... 6

Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ 6

AFMA at a Glance ......................................................................................................... 7

Part 1 Overview ............................................................................................................. 8

Authority ......................................................................................................................... 8

Role and functions .......................................................................................................... 8

Organisational structure ............................................................................................... 10

Part 2 Performance ..................................................................................................... 12

Introductory Statement ................................................................................................. 12

Purpose ........................................................................................................................ 12

Overview of Performance ............................................................................................. 13

1. Management of Commonwealth fisheries consistent with principles of ecological

sustainable development .............................................................................................. 15

2. Maximum net economic returns to the Australian community from the management of

Commonwealth fisheries .............................................................................................. 17

3. Compliance with Commonwealth fisheries laws and policies and relevant international

fishing obligations and standards ................................................................................. 20

FEATURE STORY: Operation Nasse 2019 ................................................................. 26

4. Deliver efficient, cost-effective and accountable management of Commonwealth fisheries

resources ...................................................................................................................... 27

FEATURE STORY: Agency Data Capture - Simplifying data sharing ......................... 33

Part 3 Fishery Reports ............................................................................................... 34

Introduction ................................................................................................................... 34

Gross Value of Production ............................................................................................ 35

Performance results discussed in fishery reports ......................................................... 35

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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List of Fishery Reports .................................................................................................. 36

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery ..................................................................... 37

Coral Sea Fishery ......................................................................................................... 39

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery .............................................................................. 40

Northern Prawn Fishery ................................................................................................ 41

North West Slope and the Western Deepwater Trawl Fisheries .................................. 45

Small Pelagic Fishery ................................................................................................... 47

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery ..................................................... 49

Southern Squid Jig Fishery .......................................................................................... 54

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery ................................................................................. 55

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery ..................................................................................... 57

Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery ................................................................................ 59

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery ................................................................ 61

High Sea Permits .......................................................................................................... 63

Non-operational fisheries .............................................................................................. 64

FEATURE STORY: Observer Program Work Health and Safety Activities .................. 66

Part 4 Management and accountability .................................................................... 67

Corporate governance .................................................................................................. 67

Corporate Planning and Reporting ............................................................................... 69

Risk ............................................................................................................................... 71

Compliance with Finance Law ...................................................................................... 74

Purchasing .................................................................................................................... 74

AFMA’s environmental footprint ................................................................................... 75

People Management .................................................................................................... 76

Part 5 Financial performance reports and statements ........................................... 83

Financial Performance .................................................................................................. 83

Australian National Audit Office report ......................................................................... 85

Financial Statements for year ending 30 June 2020 .................................................... 87

Part 6 Appendices .................................................................................................... 123

Commission and Executive ........................................................................................ 123

Management Advisory Committee meetings and memberships ................................ 129

Freedom of Information reporting ............................................................................... 132

Work Health and Safety .............................................................................................. 133

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance .................... 136

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Disability Reporting ..................................................................................................... 138

Consultancy Services ................................................................................................. 139

Procurement and Small Business .............................................................................. 140

Total Resources and Total Payments ........................................................................ 141

Expenses by Outcomes .............................................................................................. 142

Key Management Personnel Remuneration ............................................................... 143

Part 7 Glossary and indexes ................................................................................... 145

List of Requirements - non-corporate Commonwealth entities ................................... 145

Glossary ..................................................................................................................... 149

Index ........................................................................................................................... 154

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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18 September 2020

Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Assistant Minister

We have much pleasure in presenting to you the annual report of the Australian Fisheries

Management Authority (AFMA) for the financial year ended 30 June 2020. This report also

includes AFMA’s Annual Performance Statement for 2019-20.

During 2019-20, AFMA, in partnership with industry, continued to provide the Australian

community with well-managed Commonwealth commercial fisheries. Sustainable and

environmentally responsible fisheries is the key focus of the agency. AFMA has progressed

co-management arrangements in our fisheries to further develop collaborative approaches

and the benefits for industry from greater stability and responsibility are becoming clear.

AFMA continued to target and apprehend illegal foreign fishing vessels in Australian waters.

Illegal operators face hefty fines and the confiscation and destruction of their boats when

caught. Evidence continues to show that this vigilance has a strong deterrence affect. Also

by maintaining targeted actions and visibility in the field, AFMA encourages voluntary

domestic compliance rather than having to take enforcement action against conscious non-

compliance.

In 2019-20 AFMA successfully completed the e-fish: An Integrated data capture and sharing

project. This project marks a significant step towards making the full value of fisheries data

accessible to the Australian community and fisheries stakeholders.

This report has been prepared in accordance with section 87 of the Fisheries Administration

Act 1991 and in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability

Amendment (Non-corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2014, approved

by the Minister for Finance under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability

Act 2013.

In addition, and as required under section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Rule 2014, we certify that we are satisfied that AFMA has:

• prepared fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans

• put in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, recording or reporting

mechanisms that meet the specific needs of the agency

• taken all reasonable measures to appropriately deal with fraud relating to the agency.

We give the report to you for presentation to Parliament as required under section 46 of the

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Yours sincerely

Helen Kroger Wez Norris

Chairman Chief Executive Officer

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

vii

USER GUIDE

This report provides details of the operations and performance of AFMA for the financial

year ending 30 June 2020, as forecast in the Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio

Budget Statements 2019-20 and the AFMA Corporate Plan 2019-22.

It has been prepared in accordance with Australian Government and legislative

requirements, including the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

(PGPA Act).

The Annual Report is primarily a mechanism of accountability to the Australian Government.

It also provides a valuable resource for AFMA's clients, government at all levels, industry

and the general community.

Chairman’s and CEO review

Provides the Chairman's and Chief Executive Officer's review, looking at AFMA's key

achievements in 2019-20, the impacts of COVID-19 and an outlook for 2020-21.

PART 1 - Overview

Explains our role and functions, stakeholders and our organisational structure.

PART 2 - Performance

Details AFMA's Annual Performance Statement 2019-20 explaining our major objectives,

performance results and an analysis of those results.

PART 3 - Fishery Reports

Describes each fishery's contribution to the performance results for the year, any significant

changes to management arrangements and highlights the opportunities and challenges

faced in meeting our objectives as described in the Annual Performance Statement.

PART 4 - Management and accountability

Covers AFMA's governance arrangements and practices, including financial management,

human resource management activities, risk management practices and monitoring and

review mechanisms.

PART 5 - Financial performance

Consists of AFMA's financial statement for the 2019-20 financial year, as independently

audited by the Australian National Audit Office. These statements include financial

performance, SES remuneration, financial position and cash flows during 2019-20.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

viii

PART 6 - Appendices

The appendices include reporting requirements such as details of AFMA's Commission,

executive and committees, management advisory committee meetings and membership,

freedom of information, ecologically sustainable development and environmental

performance, consultancy services, work health and safety, disability reporting, agency

resources and payments, a statement of expenses by outcomes and key management

personnel remuneration report.

PART 7 - Glossary and indexes

Provides a list of requirements as set out in the Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Amendment (Non-corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule

2014 and the Resource Management Guide no 135 ‘Annual reports for non-corporate

Commonwealth entities'. The annual reporting requirements of the Fisheries Administration

Act 1991 are also shown. A glossary and index are included in this section.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

CHAIRMAN'S AND CEO REVIEW • 1

CHAIRMAN'S AND CEO REVIEW

Our performance and achievements

Commonwealth fisheries are in excellent shape with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural

and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Fishery Status Reports 2020 showing

that for the seventh consecutive year, all fish stocks solely managed by AFMA were not

subject to overfishing. In addition, ABARES’ most recent fishery statistics indicate that the

annual gross value of Commonwealth fisheries production (GVP), that is the landed value of

product has been maintained at around $400 million despite operational disruptions and

value-chain collapse across a number of fisheries in the latter half of the financial year due

to bushfires and COVID-19. Our fisheries make a valuable contribution to the broader

Australian community, such as through providing employment, supporting economic

development in regional areas and generating export earnings.

As part of this Annual Report, we have included an Annual Performance Statement (Part 2

of the Annual Report) in accordance with the requirements of the PGPA Act and we have

reviewed fishery by fishery outcomes (Part 3 of the Annual Report) of AFMA’s management.

Highlights of our activities and impacts under each of our corporate goals include:

Ecological Sustainability

Guided by relevant Commonwealth legislation and policies, AFMA works to ensure that the

exploitation of fisheries resources is conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of

ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle. In this

context, AFMA assesses the risk of fishing to the marine environment and prioritises our

management responses to manage the effects of fishing on not only the target species, but

also bycatch species, threatened, endangered or protected species and the broader marine

ecosystem.

Sustainable and environmentally responsible fisheries is the key focus of the agency.

Formal harvest strategies under the Australian Government's Commonwealth Harvest

Strategy Policy are in place or being updated in all our major fisheries, and these are

improving decision making and sustainability of Commonwealth fisheries. This shows that

efficient fisheries depend on abundant fish stocks. These harvest strategies are currently

being reviewed and, if necessary, refined to meet the needs of the updated Harvest Strategy

Policy released in 2018.

While no fish stocks solely managed by AFMA is subject to overfishing, we continue our

work to recover depleted stocks, but it is a long road in some cases. The further challenge of

potential regime shifts and climate impacts may ultimately prevent some stocks recovering -

even in the absence of fishing pressure - and we are seeking to improve knowledge of

these issues and impacts to guide our management responses for all Commonwealth

fisheries.

To that end, AFMA and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

(CSIRO) have progressed a climate adaptation project to help address climate risks facing

our fisheries. The aim of that project is to understand the risks climate change presents to

Commonwealth fisheries so that the following questions can be answered:

• What changes does AFMA need to make to its regulatory system so that it can still

effectively deliver its management objectives?

• What are the consequences of those changes for the fishing industry and other fishery

stakeholders?

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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The project has developed a handbook for fishery stakeholders that sets out the steps

required to understand the potential sensitivity of a fishery’s management to physical and

ecological change, whether the fishery can easily and rapidly autonomously adapt to these

changes or whether it will be a longer process that requires management plans and methods

to be modified.

Maximise the net economic returns

AFMA recognises that well-managed, sustainable fisheries with secure access rights for

industry - allowing them to invest in the latest technology, best workforce practices and

market development - provides the basis for maximising economic returns.

In July 2019, AFMA and the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) implemented

formal economic and biological indicators to monitor year-on-year performance of the

Northern Prawn Fishery relative to fishing capacity. This will enable industry, and AFMA if

needed, to recognise and respond to the need for structural adjustment in the Northern

Prawn Fishery fleet to keep it delivering positive economic returns.

In March 2020 AFMA approved funding for the collection of economic data and development

of a model for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery in order to estimate maximum

economic yield under proposed revisions to the harvest strategy.

Also in March 2020, AFMA released a new draft Exploratory Fishing Policy for stakeholder

and public consultation. An efficient Exploratory Fishing Policy will encourage fishers to

explore and develop new fishing resources. The new draft simplifies the process of exploring

new resources based on balancing risk and cost while using AFMA’s Ecological Risk

Management framework. It is expected to encourage fisher-led exploration and development

of Commonwealth resources through increased transparency and management of ongoing

rights.

Compliance

Working with the international community and other Australian Government agencies, AFMA

continues to target and apprehend illegal foreign fishing vessels in Australian waters. Illegal

operators face hefty fines and the confiscation and destruction of their boats when caught.

Evidence continues to show that this vigilance has a strong deterrence affect. During 2019-

20, a total of four Indonesian foreign fishing vessels were apprehended across Australia’s

northern waters. This number continues the downward trend with a total of five

apprehensions in the 2018-19 financial year, 14 apprehensions in the 2017-18 financial year

and 15 in 2016-17.

By maintaining targeted actions and visibility in the field, AFMA continues to encourage

voluntary domestic compliance rather than having to take enforcement action against

conscious non-compliance.

Effective, Cost Efficient and Transparent Management

and Regulator Arrangements

We have progressed co-management arrangements in our fisheries to further develop

collaborative approaches and the benefits for industry from greater stability and

responsibility are becoming clear.

In 2019 AFMA and the NPFI entered a new multiyear contract for the provision of co-

management services. The new contract continues to strengthen the co-management

partnership, with NPFI taking on additional responsibilities for administering the Northern

Prawn Fishery Surveys in collaboration with CSIRO. In 2020 AFMA formally delegated data

disclosure authorisation to the NPFI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to cover fisheries related

data and manage data requests for industry data on behalf of the industry. This delegation

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

CHAIRMAN'S AND CEO REVIEW • 3

marks a milestone for AFMA and is the first such delegation between AFMA and an industry

association.

In 2019-20 AFMA successfully completed the Fisheries Research and Development

Corporation (FRDC) funded e-fish: An Integrated data capture and sharing project. The e-fish

project was a widely successful collaboration across Australia’s fisheries management

jurisdictions to understand the perspectives of multiple data user types in each Australian

fisheries jurisdiction. Key insights gained from the project include how current data systems

are structured, challenges in relation to data sharing and usage, and suggestions for

improving how data can be integrated within and across fisheries agencies. The e-fish project

created and tested a prototype ICT structure based on a set of design principles that is

capable of linking, integrating and sharing fisher-reported data. These design principles, and

the successful testing of the prototype, marks a significant step towards making the full value

of fisheries data accessible in time to the Australian community and fisheries stakeholders.

Impact of COVID-19

Like many sectors, fisheries experienced significant upheaval in the second half of 2019-20

due to COVID-19 with the impacts likely to be felt for quite some time. In response to

COVID-19, AFMA Management implemented its Pandemic Response Plan in March 2020.

The plan operates in conjunction with the Business Continuity Plan and outlines AFMA’s

response to a pandemic by defining pandemic phases according to the World Health

Organisation and agency and staff responsibilities under each phase. AFMA also

established the Pandemic Incident Management Team (PIMT). The PIMT is chaired by the

Chief Operating Officer and comprises a membership of critical staff from all three AFMA

branches. The PIMT is responsible for assessment of pandemic phases under the AFMA

Pandemic Response Plan and to ensure actions required under each phase are taken.

The CEO closed AFMA offices in Darwin and Lakes Entrance on Friday 27 March 2020 and

in Canberra and Thursday Island on Monday 30 March 2020. AFMA’s ICT mobility enabled

an almost seamless transition to working from home arrangements across the agency.

Access to AFMA offices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was restricted to those staff

whose attendance at the office was critical to maintain essential functions for the

agency. Plans for transition back to work in the office began in late June 2020. New and

emerging risks and mitigations continue to be monitored during AFMA staff transition to

offices and worksites.

Due to the restrictions on travel and implementation of working from home arrangements,

AFMA instituted a range of mechanisms to help to maintain its overall compliance and

enforcement program across Commonwealth fisheries. These included:

• Increased numbers of desktop audits/inspections in place of in field inspections

• Enhanced use of methodologies to monitor and detect quota evasion

• Enhanced use of CCTV capabilities to monitor vessel offloads in key ports

• Enhanced focus on VMS compliance including increased checking and enhanced

enforcement

• Increased engagement with State agencies assistance in completing essential

inspections on Commonwealth and foreign vessels

• Collaboration with international partners to mitigate emerging fisheries risks under

international frameworks

• Participated in virtual joint coordination centres for the running of multilateral

coordinated patrols and operations

• Delivery of capacity building and training packages by virtual means

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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• Promoted the use of alternative or additional means of monitoring and independent

verification (such as electronic monitoring).

As at the end of 2019-20, all AFMA offices remained closed. Results of all staff working

remotely and reduction on field duties during COVID-19 will be reported in the 2020-21

annual report, but it is fair to say that AFMA staff were well served by the agency’s ICT

technology, and staff responded positively and proactively to the challenges of the new work

environment. AFMA continued to undertake its functions and decision making as well as

absorbing additional workload directly related to the pandemic crisis.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

CHAIRMAN'S AND CEO REVIEW • 5

FEATURE STORY: Placement of an observer

during COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented times globally, including for AFMA and the

Commonwealth fishing industry. The pandemic has had an affect for over a third of 2019-20

with AFMA closing offices and all staff working remotely. The Observer Program has been

significantly disrupted by travel restrictions and work, health and safety concerns for both

observers and vessel crew. Fishing is considered an essential industry under COVID-19.

AFMA’s Observer Program provides essential information to support the management of

Commonwealth fisheries. This includes the collection of scientific data supporting stock

assessments, monitoring threatened, endangered or protected species interactions required

by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and meeting

Australia’s international obligations. Our 17 casually-employed observers are pivotal in

supporting AFMA to deliver our objective of sustainable fisheries management. They also

provide key oversight that supports stakeholder confidence in Australian fisheries, helping to

keep our fishers fishing.

COVID-19 and the associated global management response created a unique situation for

the placement of observers. However, AFMA has been successful in mitigating the risk of

COVID-19 for our observers and for industry, while still achieving high priority deployments

to meet key regulatory conditions, including many international obligations. This required

significant collaboration across AFMA and other government agencies and with industry.

In April, industry sought to undertake their fishing operations in the Heard Island and

McDonald Islands Fishery which requires the placement of an AFMA observer. One recent

example of collaboration was the placement of an observer on an Australian fishing vessel in

Mauritius for the voyage to the Southern Ocean.

The logistics of placing the observer included:

• receiving an exemption to enter Western Australia and an exemption to leave Australia

• having a COVID-19 test

• meeting the charter flight with the crew from New Zealand

• receiving an exemption and approval from the Mauritian Government.

All AFMA branches in conjunction with other government agencies, as well as in close

association with industry, successfully met all requirements enabling the vessel to leave port

and undertake their fishing operation.

Observer working in the Antarctic

Photo courtesy AFMA

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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Outlook

AFMA's Corporate Plan 2020-23 was approved by the Assistant Minister for Forestry and

Fisheries. Over the next four years AFMA will look to implement fisheries management in

pursuit of sustainable and profitable Commonwealth fisheries by:

• simplifying regulations to reduce operational and cost burdens for industry

• managing ecological and compliance risks

• deterring illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

• improving engagement with stakeholders in the responsible management of fisheries.

AFMA will continue to review management arrangements through broad consultative

processes to take into consideration commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishing

interests AFMA is also committed to continued use of co-management approaches with

key stakeholders, and will seek to develop an overarching policy framework to guide the

circumstances where that approach is appropriate and desirable. We will also review

relevant AFMA policies and fishery harvest strategies, with a particular focus on avoiding

management that imposes unnecessary regulatory burdens or inefficiencies for the

Commonwealth commercial fishing sector.

AFMA will continue to focus on approaches that encourage voluntary

1

compliance by

domestic fishers while maintaining an enforcement capability and taking deterrence action

against conscious non-compliance. This will involve operating an effective domestic

compliance regime using measures that are proportionate to the risks. We will also continue

to work with partners in building regional capacity and capabilities to combat foreign IUU

fishing within the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).

AFMA will pursue initiatives to reduce regulation and administrative burden including

exploring opportunities to streamline fisheries assessment and management processes.

Incentive mechanisms including greater individual accountability for boat-level performance

and using pricing mechanisms to encourage the uptake of electronic reporting and

monitoring will enhance effective and accountable management arrangements.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator the Hon

Jonathon Duniam and the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management,

the Hon David Littleproud MP and their offices for the support that they have provided during

2019-20.

We also wish to acknowledge and thank all AFMA staff for their unwavering commitment

and constant professionalism in delivering on the priorities and achievements outlined in this

report.

Helen Kroger Wez Norris

Chairman Chief Executive Officer

1

Voluntary compliance is the idea that compliance is achieved as a result of the community (or individuals) choosing to willingly

or voluntarily comply with rules, regulations or even general philosophies. Voluntary compliance is not compliance due to an

understanding and/or fear of the consequences of not complying; that is deterrence. In essence voluntary compliance is the act

of complying regardless of (or without) any possible repercussions.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 1: OVERVIEW • 7

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

8

PART 1 OVERVIEW

Authority

AFMA was established under the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 in February 1992 to

manage Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries and apply the provisions of the Fisheries

Management Act 1991. Together, these two Acts created a statutory authority model for the

day-to-day management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries.

AFMA’s portfolio department, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

retains responsibility for strategic fisheries policy advice, legislative development and leading

international negotiations.

The AFMA Commission is responsible for domestic fisheries management, and the CEO,

who is also a Commissioner, is responsible for foreign compliance and assisting the

Commission to implement its decisions. The CEO is also responsible for assisting the

Minister in managing Torres Strait Fisheries under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984.

AFMA is governed by the PGPA Act and the Public Service Act 1999.

During the reporting period AFMA’s Minister was the Minister for Agriculture - Senator the

Hon Bridget McKenzie from 1 July 2019 until 2 February 2020 and the Hon David Littleproud

MP was appointed the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management on 6

February 2020. Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam was the Assistant Minister for Forestry

and Fisheries.

Role and functions

AFMA is the Australian Government agency responsible for the provision of regulatory and

other services to ensure efficient and sustainable management of Commonwealth fisheries

on behalf of the Australian community. The challenge in delivering these services is to find

the right balance between competitive and profitable seafood production and managing

fishing of Australia’s marine ecosystems within sustainable and acceptable risk levels.

Our fisheries management practices aim to maintain the ecological sustainability of

Commonwealth commercial fisheries for Australians both now and into the future. These

practices have regard to non-target species and the long-term health of the broader marine

environment.

We generally manage commercial fisheries from three nautical miles offshore to the

boundary of the AFZ (200 nautical miles offshore), as well as Australian boats fishing on the

high seas outside the AFZ. State and territory governments generally manage fisheries

within their borders and inside three nautical miles from shore, except where Offshore

Constitutional Settlement (OCS) agreements exist for the management of fish species

between the Commonwealth and state/territory governments.

The Commonwealth is also responsible for international fisheries matters, including

preventing illegal foreign fishing in the AFZ. Since ratifying the United Nations Fish Stocks

Agreement in 1999, Australia has been actively involved in negotiating regional

arrangements to manage a range of highly migratory, straddling stocks and international

stocks that are targeted by Australian operators. AFMA participates in management,

monitoring, control and surveillance activities as well as developing capacity building

activities, providing advice and training to countries in our region.

As a regulator we pursue efficient and cost effective fisheries management in a way that

accounts for the effects of fishing and ensures ecologically sustainable development. We

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 1: OVERVIEW • 9

also regulate the harvest of fisheries resources with the aim of maximising net economic

returns to the Australian community.

Australia’s Commonwealth commercial fisheries are managed in accordance with the

government’s cost recovery policy. The Commonwealth commercial fishing industry pays for

costs directly attributed to, and recoverable from, the fishing industry, while the government

pays for activities that benefit the broader Australian community. During 2019-20 cost

recovered revenue from the fishing industry represented about 31 per cent of total revenue.

The percentage would be some 39 per cent after taking into account the levy relief package

which provided some $10.3 million in order to waive any further levies for all Commonwealth

fisheries for the remainder of the 2019-20 year.

Stakeholders

AFMA proactively engages with scientists, commercial fishers and fishing associations,

researchers, environment and conservation organisations, other Australian Government,

territory and state agencies, and recreational and Indigenous fishers about our management

of Commonwealth fisheries and compliance activities. We continue to encourage and

promote a partnership approach with stakeholders, involving them in developing policies and

actions and to share responsibility (and the associated risks) for fisheries management

where appropriate.

We also provide fisheries management services to Joint Authorities of the Commonwealth

and state governments, including the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA)

under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984. The status of these fisheries and AFMA’s

activities in managing them are reported separately through the PZJA annual report and

relevant Joint Authority reports between the States/Northern Territory and the

Commonwealth.

Our values

AFMA individually and collectively underpins our service, partnerships and accountability to

stakeholders by adhering to the principles of public sector governance.

We are:

• Impartial - we are apolitical and provide the government with advice that is frank,

honest, timely and based on the best available evidence

• Committed to service - we are professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and we

work collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the

government

• Accountable - we are open and accountable to the Australian community under the

law and within the framework of Ministerial responsibility

• Respectful - we respect all people, including their rights and their heritage

• Ethical - we demonstrate leadership, are trustworthy, and act with integrity, in all that

we do.

AFMA’s Client Service Charter also expresses our ongoing commitment to providing

stakeholders with quality service. The Client Service Charter is available at our website at

afma.gov.au.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

10

Organisational structure

Our organisational structure as at 30 June 2020 is presented below.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 1: OVERVIEW • 11

Where AFMA operates

AFMA has offices at four locations: Canberra, Darwin, Thursday Island and Lakes Entrance.

Details of our office locations are provided below.

Canberra office

Street address Postal address Enquiries

Level 3

15 Lancaster Place

MAJURA PARK ACT 2609

PO BOX 7051

Canberra Business Centre

CANBERRA ACT 2610

Ph: (02) 6225 5555

Fax: (02) 6225 5500

AFMA Direct: 1300 723 621

Darwin office

Level 6

Jacana House

39-41 Woods Street

DARWIN NT 0800

GPO Box 131

DARWIN NT 0801

Ph: (08) 8943 0333

Fax: (08) 8942 2897

Thursday Island office

Level 1

Pearls Building

38 Victoria Parade

THURSDAY ISLAND QLD

4875

PO Box 376

THURSDAY ISLAND QLD

4875

Ph: (07) 4069 1990

Fax: (07) 4069 1277

Lakes Entrance office

Seamec Building

Bullock Island Road

LAKES ENTRANCE VIC

3909

PO Box 408

LAKES ENTRANCE VIC

3909

Ph: 0447 019 916

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

12

PART 2 PERFORMANCE

Introductory Statement

I, as the accountable authority of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, present

the 2019-20 annual performance statements of AFMA, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a)

of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and under paragraph

87 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991. In my opinion, these annual performance

statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of

the entity, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Wez Norris

Chief Executive Officer & Accountable Authority of AFMA

Purpose

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority operates within the Australian

Government’s outcome and performance frameworks. The outcome for each agency

articulates the government’s objectives for the agency and provides a basis for budgeting

and reporting the use of funds appropriated by government. The agency’s purpose, as

stated in its corporate plan, sets out why it exists, and identifies the strategic objectives that

it intends to pursue.

Outcome and Program

AFMA’s purpose is:

‘The ecologically sustainable development of Commonwealth fisheries for the benefit

of the Australian community.’

AFMA’s goals and strategies are aimed at continuing to deliver ecologically sustainable and

economically efficient Commonwealth fisheries over the current and forecast period. In the

Portfolio Budget Statements for 2019-20, AFMA is responsible for a single government

program: Program 1.1 Australian Fisheries Management Authority. The Annual Performance

Statement is structured to highlight the major elements of AFMA’s corporate goals:

1. Management of Commonwealth fisheries consistent with the principles of

ecologically sustainable development

AFMA will integrate long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity

considerations, apply the precautionary principle and minimise the impacts on biological

diversity. In doing so, we will also work with commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers.

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PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 13

2. Maximum net economic returns to the Australian community from the management

of Commonwealth fisheries

AFMA will develop management arrangements that seek to maximise economic yield for

commercial fishers while taking into consideration the interests of recreational and

Indigenous fishers in Commonwealth fisheries.

3. Compliance with Commonwealth fisheries laws and policies and relevant

international fishing obligations and standards

AFMA will cooperate with a range of domestic and international agencies to maintain

effective monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries activities in the Australian Fishing

Zone and adjacent waters.

4. Deliver efficient, cost-effective and accountable management of Commonwealth

fisheries resources

AFMA will deliver value for money through improved valuation, pricing and incentive

mechanisms and ensure accountability to our stakeholders and the broader Australian

community.

Overview of Performance

The following outcomes will mark AFMA’s success:

• AFMA-managed fisheries are acknowledged as sustainable

o Achieved by: a fully developed and integrated Ecological Risk Assessment

(ERA)/Ecological Risk Management (ERM) system, supported by high quality

government policy and science that is publicly available.

• Fisheries governance is efficient and effective

o Achieved by: employing modern technology to deliver stakeholder self-service, and

making the fishing industry accountable as individuals and groups (e.g. co-

management).

• Fisheries regulation is focused on ‘harms’

o Achieved by: removing unnecessary regulation and making it easy to comply, backed

by a proportionate penalties regime and incentives that reward compliant operators.

• Stakeholders are confident in AFMA

o Achieved by: alignment of AFMA and stakeholder expectations through the use of

broad engagement systems and shared objectives.

In 2019-20 AFMA successfully delivered outcomes across all four of its goals as depicted in

the table below. Overall, we either exceeded, fully achieved or substantially achieved 86 per

cent of our targets (i.e. 12 out of 14 performance measures). Good progress was made

toward meeting 1 out of 14 targets where we partly met the criteria and limited progress was

made towards meeting 1 out of 14 targets where we did not meet the target. Detailed

analysis is provided on pages 14 to 32.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 15

1. Management of Commonwealth fisheries

consistent with principles of ecological

sustainable development

Purpose

AFMA manages Commonwealth fisheries against the principles of ecological sustainable

development on the basis that managing the impacts of fishing activities on the marine

ecosystem and ensuring sustainable commercial harvesting leads to better economic and

social outcomes.

To achieve this AFMA worked with Commonwealth agencies during 2019-20 on updated

Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategies and ecological risk assessments and

implementing changes to our management arrangements to reflect these updated risks.

Result

Criteria source: The performance indicators below are recorded in AFMA's chapter in the

Agriculture, Water and the Environment 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statements p. 234 and in

AFMA's Corporate Plan for 2019-22 p. 8.

Methods for measuring performance:

1. Based on the agreed schedule of ecological risk assessments in the Guide to AFMA’s

Ecological Risk Management June 2017.

2. Based on Ecological Risk Assessments, noting that revised, more precautionary

species reference points have identified more high risk species. The latest round of

ecological risk assessment of AFMA fisheries has identified a total of 87 high risk

species that Commonwealth fisheries are interacting with. Responses to these risk are

either under development or already in place. It is expected that the number of species

identified as high risk will decline in subsequent years, subject to any new/changes to

ERA methodologies.

3. Reporting of general bycatch by fishery in logbooks, e-monitoring and the observer

program.

4. Quarterly reports to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

2

Bycatch other than TEPs

Performance criteria 2019-20

Target Actual

1.1 Complete an Ecological Risk Assessment and Fisheries

Management Strategy for each fishery every five years (number

of fisheries)

5 6

1.2 The number of high risk rated species from Ecological Risk

Assessments declines

80 87

1.3 The accuracy of fisheries reporting on general bycatch quantity

2

each year (number of fisheries) improves

8 12

1.4 The total number of fisheries reporting decreasing volume of

general bycatch quantity

2

each year (number of fisheries)

6 8

1.5 Number of fisheries with decreasing interaction rates with

Threatened Endangered and Protected species (TEPs)

5 6

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Analysis

AFMA uses an ecosystem-based approach to ensure that it takes account of fishing effects

on the whole marine environment, rather than just target species. This applies a

precautionary approach when assessing the risks posed by Commonwealth commercial

fishing. Our fishery-specific ecological risk assessments evaluate a wide range of species

that are at various levels of risks from fishing. Through this process, we assess risk in

relation to over 2000 recorded species in Commonwealth waters. The majority (85 per cent)

of the species on AFMA’s “potential high risk species” list are there due to a lack of

information about the biology of those species or catch.

The Ecological Risk Assessment for the effects of fishing (ERA framework) requires that

each fishery sets out how it will address risks identified through the formal assessment

process particularly those impacts that fishing has on commercial species, bycatch and

TEPs. These actions are set out in each fishery’s management arrangements and

responses and delivered through individual management plans, bycatch plans and protected

species strategies. As part of AFMA’s revised ecological risk management framework

ultimately every fishery will encapsulate these arrangements into fisheries management

strategies: a ‘one stop shop’ for documentation and information about Commonwealth

fisheries. This reflects our work with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the

Environment when implementing the revised Commonwealth Harvest Strategy and

Commonwealth Bycatch policy and their respective supporting guidelines in November

2018. A fishery management strategy has been completed for one Commonwealth fishery to

date and work is significantly progressed for two other fisheries.

Based on the updated Ecological Risk Assessment methodology six fisheries have been

reassessed by CSIRO in conjunction with AFMA. Some of these reassessments resulted in

changes in the species composition in “potential high risk species” identified. For example,

the Southern Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery trawl sector no longer has any marine

mammals identified as high risk to fishing and likewise the gillnet sector is no longer

considered a high risk for fur seals or Australian Sea Lions.

Another five Ecological Risk Assessments are due to be completed during 2020-21. To

support the ecological risk assessment methodology we held a number of meetings of the

Ecological Risk Management Working Group. A key focus of the group over this period was

assessing the outcomes of an international review of the methodology with a view to

updating and improving AFMA ERA methodology where appropriate.

Reducing bycatch remains an important focus for AFMA, gross volumes of reported bycatch

was lower in eight fisheries and exceeded the performance target. Twelve fisheries provided

accurate information on the quantity of bycatch discarded, exceeding the target by four.

These metrics will assist us in meeting the requirements of the recently introduced

Commonwealth Bycatch Policy, particularly around cumulative impacts across fisheries.

AFMA introduced management arrangements in 2020 that require otter trawl operators in

the Commonwealth Trawl Sector to retain biological material when fishing gear is in the

water in high risk areas, unless they can demonstrate mitigation approaches that remove the

risk to seabirds interacting with trawl warp wires. Industry has since developed a number of

innovative solutions, including hydraulic mechanisms to pull warp wires under water, and

discard chutes that allow for biological material to be discharged below the water surface.

Industry is continuing to trial alternative mitigation approaches with the aim of gaining

exemptions to the new rules. The number of fisheries with decreasing interaction rates with

TEPs was six, exceeding the performance target.

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2. Maximum net economic returns to the

Australian community from the management of

Commonwealth fisheries

Purpose

The Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines provide an essential

management framework for AFMA’s Commonwealth fisheries. Commonwealth fishery

harvest strategies for key commercial stocks guide the setting of total allowable catches and

other catch limits. By pursuing targets of maximum economic yield (or proxy), where

available, net economic returns should be improved.

AFMA has also continued to develop and better understand the impacts of management

policies to improve the net economic returns from Commonwealth fisheries. In 2019-20,

AFMA:

• Refined and investigated use of economic information including trading prices of gear

and statutory fishing rights (SFRs)

• Reviewed Fisheries Management Paper number 5 - exploration of fish resources

• Continued work with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in the

development of a Commonwealth resource sharing policy.

Result

Criteria source: The performance indicators below are recorded in AFMA's chapter in the

Agriculture, Water and the Environment 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statements p. 235 and in

AFMA's Corporate Plan for 2019-22 p. 10.

Performance criteria 2019-20

Target Actual

2.1 For economically significant stocks:

a) maximise the number of key commercial stocks with

harvest strategy targets

3

based on maximum economic yield

or the best available proxy

At least

15

(stocks)

14

b) improve the number of stocks in a) above assessed as

being on economic target. (number of stocks)

4 4

c) for those stocks in a) above that are assessed as not on

target, increase the number of stocks that are heading

towards their target reference point

4

.

(number of stocks)

7 4

2.2 Major fisheries have harvest strategies that meet the

Harvest Strategy Policy 2018 (HSP2018) within 3 years

(number of fisheries)

6

5

0

2.3 Other fisheries have harvest strategies that meet the

HSP2018 within 4 years (number of fisheries)

2

6

2

3

Harvest strategy targets are defined as the desired fishing mortality or biomass of the stock (or proxy).

4

Note: it may take an extended period of years for ongoing and concerted management actions to deliver positive stock status

improvements. In the interim period, target stock numbers will remain at the same level.

5

2020-21 target = 8

6

2020-21 target = 4

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Methods for measuring performance:

1. The method for estimating these KPIs was recommended by ABARES in its 2015

review of AFMA’s economic KPIs. The KPI assesses key commercial stocks (as defined

in the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy 2018) in AFMA’s major fisheries (those

with Statutory Fisheries Management Plans). One year forecasts are based on fishery

manager expertise and stock assessments. Please note that not all Commonwealth fish

stocks can be managed by maximum economic yield, for example, those managed

under international regional bodies or when managed to more appropriate targets for

the stock (e.g. ecological targets).

2. Where higher and lower value species are caught together, different targets for the

lower value species may maximise net economic returns over all.

3. A range of work is underway to update major fishery and other fisheries to comply with

the new Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy. Full compliance and updating these

strategies are depending on a number of research projects and support work to inform

the development of the new HSP.

Analysis

Noting that two stocks (Broadbill swordfish and Striped marlin) in the Eastern Tuna and

Billfish Fishery are currently having their harvest strategies revised and updated, the key

commercial stocks that have maximum economic yield targets are:

• 11 stocks - Bight redfish, Blue eye trevalla, Blue grenadier, Deepwater flathead,

Eastern school whiting, Gummy shark, Orange roughy Eastern, Pink ling-east, Pink ling-

west, School shark, Tiger flathead (Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery)

• Three stocks - Banana, Endeavour and Tiger prawns (Northern Prawn Fishery).

The four stocks “on target” are: Deepwater flathead, Eastern school whiting, Tiger flathead

(all Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery) and Tiger prawn (brown and

grooved) (Northern Prawn Fishery).

The four stocks that were assessed as heading towards the target are: Blue eye trevalla,

Gummy shark, Orange roughy eastern and Pink ling-east (all Southern and Eastern

Scalefish and Shark Fishery).

The remaining six stocks that were assessed as not on target and not heading towards

target are: Bight redfish, Blue grenadier, Endeavour prawn, Pink ling - west, School shark

(uncertain) and Banana prawn (no assessment available).

Work is well underway to update harvest strategies to ensure key commercial fish species

are sustainably managed to maximise net economic returns to the Australian community

consistent with the 2018 updated Harvest Strategy Policy. A number of major fisheries

updates are reliant on separate research, which is due for completion in 2020-21.

Broadbill swordfish and Striped marlin harvest strategies have been updated and are

currently being reviewed by relevant consultative committees. Two of the smaller fisheries

have completed updates of their Harvest Strategy, consistent with the new policy.

Though there are six stocks assessed as not on target and not heading towards target, this

is a measure of whether the economic potential is being maximised rather than an indicator

of the sustainability of those stocks.

Work continued on finalising a suite of high level economic key performance indicators to

monitor the economic performance of our fisheries as well as developing indicators to

monitor economic factors that are driving changes in fisheries.

A final draft of the exploratory fishing policy (FMP 5) was released for public comment in

2019 and is currently awaiting resumption of face-to-face Management Advisory Committee

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PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 19

meetings for comment prior to provision to the AFMA Commission for approval. A key aim of

the updated policy is to provide guidance to industry and decision makers regarding access

to underutilised Commonwealth fisheries resources.

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3. Compliance with Commonwealth fisheries

laws and policies and relevant international

fishing obligations and standards

Purpose

Non-compliance with AFMA’s management rules and regulations undermines ecological

sustainability as well as the value of fishing concessions which ultimately affects the value

and viability of Australia’s fishing industry.

Our international compliance activities ensure that Australia’s fish stocks and the marine

environment are not adversely affected by illegal foreign fishing.

Result

Criteria source: The performance indicators below are recorded in AFMA's chapter in the

Agriculture, Water and the Environment 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statements p. 248 and in

AFMA's Corporate Plan for 2019-22 p. 13.

Methods for measuring performance:

Data is based on actions documented in compliance and enforcement activities.

As detailed below, AFMA's National Compliance Operations and Enforcement Policy

includes subprograms that each have specific aims and outcomes. In 2019-20, 25 of the 32

(78.1 per cent) performance targets were met, whilst 30 of the 32 (94 per cent) were met or

above the threshold target.

All apprehended foreign illegal fishing vessels delivered to AFMA’s vessel disposal facilities

were successfully disposed of and all briefs of evidence relating to foreign matters were

submitted within the targeted timeframes (100 per cent).

Analysis

National Compliance (domestic)

AFMA's National Compliance Operations and Enforcement Policy (the policy) aims to

effectively deter illegal fishing in Commonwealth fisheries and the Australian Fishing Zone

(AFZ).

In order to achieve the policy objective the risk based 2019-20 National Compliance and

Enforcement Program consisted of four main components:

Performance criteria 2019-20

Target Actual

3.1 Percentage of treatment targets for all priority domestic risks

met

90% 78.1%

3.2 Percentage of apprehended illegal, unreported and unregulated

(IUU) vessels and suspected illegal entry vessels delivered to

AFMA’s vessel disposal facilities were disposed of

100% 100%

3.3 Percentage of briefs of evidence relating to foreign offenders

submitted to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

within 7-10 days from their arrival in Australia

90% 100%

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• Communication and Education

• General Deterrence

• Targeted Risk

• Maintenance

Communication and Education Program:

As part of our strategy to promote voluntary compliance our fisheries officers conducted

infield education sessions and pre-season briefings in a variety of ports to inform

Commonwealth fishers on the principles of the compliance and enforcement program and

potential consequences of being caught committing offences.

Monthly compliance articles were also posted on AFMA’s website and Facebook pages with

messages being sent to fishers on a regular basis. These included reminders to keep Vessel

Monitoring System (VMS) units switched on over the Christmas and New Year period; pre-

season briefings and TED measuring provided to Northern Prawn fishers in preparation for

the Banana and Tiger Prawn season commencement; Torres Strait Fishery licence reminder

requirements; and, participation with other organisations in joint at-sea patrols. Fishers were

also reminded that during COVID-19 AFMA was continuing to monitor fishing operations.

Four of the six Communication and Education performance targets were met in 2019-20 with

the remaining two performance targets within acceptable thresholds.

General Deterrence Program:

AFMA fisheries officers visited 143 Commonwealth ports, conducted 289 boat inspections

and 88 fish receiver inspections (total of 377 inspections). Of the 289 boat inspections

conducted, 83 were desktop inspections.

Due to travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of inspections

decreased by 28 percent compared to the 356 boat and 146 fish receiver premises

inspections conducted in 2018-19. High levels of compliance were observed with 92 per cent

of inspections not requiring any further action. This was just below the program target rate

for voluntary compliance of 95 per cent.

During 2019-20, 165 investigations were commenced, 157 matters were closed and 34

matters are still open and require further investigation, a total of 26 matters were rolled over

from the 2018-19 financial period. Of the 157 matters that were closed they resulted in 21

warnings and 17 cautions issues, three Commonwealth Fisheries Infringement Notices

issued, one court conviction and 115 matters required no further action.

Eight of the nine performance targets for the general deterrence program were met in 2019-

20 the remaining one was within threshold tolerance.

Targeted Risk Program:

During 2019-20 AFMA continued focussing on the Torres Strait Fishery, quota evasion,

failing to report interactions and retention of protected and prohibited species and bycatch

mishandling.

Torres Strait Fishery

In the Torres Strait Fishery fisheries officers participated in 14 joint ‘at-sea’ patrols, alongside

agencies such as Australian Border Force and Queensland Water Police.

AFMA officers conducted 39 boat inspections, 33 fish receiver premises inspections and

also visited 27 ports/freight hubs. AFMA officers participated in two stakeholder/community

meetings to deliver information sessions on compliance related matters. Officers also

participated in two infield training exercises with the Torres Strait Rangers, focussing on

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fishery compliance matters and the importance of timely and concise reporting of relevant

matters to AFMA.

One on one education and awareness sessions with fishermen and fish receivers was

undertaken at every opportunity to encourage voluntary compliance in the Torres Strait

Fisheries. Whilst compliance rates were generally high a number of matters resulted in

formal warnings being issued or further investigation conducted. The Commonwealth

Director of Public Prosecutions currently have carriage of eight briefs of evidence referred by

AFMA for suspected breaches of the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, two of which were

carried over from 2018-19.

All five of the Torres Strait Fishery performance targets were met or exceeded in 2019-20.

Quota evasion

Quota evasion is the deliberate misreporting, or non-reporting, of the volume and/or species

of catch caught in Commonwealth waters. All Commonwealth fishers are required to

accurately report their catch to AFMA through Catch Disposal Records (CDRs).

In 2019-20 the National Compliance Strategy Section continued with the covert surveillance

program(s) to provide an indicative measure on the level of quota evasion.

Two of the three quota evasion performance targets were met in 2019-20 and one

performance target was within threshold tolerance.

Failure to report interaction/retention of protected or prohibited species

During 2019-20, there were 19 incidents of non-reporting of Threatened, Endangered and

Protected species interactions detected, six of which required further investigation. The 19

matters detected in 2019-20 is a significant drop from the 35 matters detected in 2018-19,

37 matters detected in 2017-18 and the 49 matters in 2016-17. Each of the 2019-20 matters

were dealt with by way of education, warnings or referred to another agency for further

action. AFMA will continue to re-assess its strategies to improve reporting rates in 2020-21.

Two of the three failure to report interaction/retention of protected or prohibited species

performance targets were met in 2019-20.

Bycatch mishandling

To assist in ensuring long term sustainable fisheries, we have continued with education and

communication programs with industry to outline the risk of bycatch mishandling.

There were 24 reports of alleged bycatch mishandling during 2019-20, 12 of which required

further investigation. The overall instances of bycatch mishandling reports during the 2019-

20 averaged 2.0 reports per month which is slightly above the 2018-19 average of 1.25 but

still well down on the 4.2 per month which was occurring prior to additional rules being

implemented and targeted education campaigns being launched in October 2016.

Bycatch mishandling incidents were principally dealt with by way of education sessions,

cautions and warnings.

Both bycatch mishandling performance measures were met during 2019-20.

Maintenance Programs:

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and e-Monitoring (EM)

Due to service provider issues, VMS on a large proportion of the Commonwealth fleet

(approximately 80 per cent) was rendered inoperable during August and September 2019.

Outside of this period, VMS compliance rates remained high with an average of 96.2 per

cent of all Commonwealth vessels reporting to AFMA via their VMS at any one time, which is

slightly below the target of 98 per cent. The main reasons for non-compliance were fishers

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PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 23

not seeking approval to turn units off when vessels are undergoing maintenance or had

temporarily ceased fishing.

The VMS performance target was not met but was within threshold tolerances during 2019-

20.

E-Monitoring

There were also eight incidents of non-compliance with e-monitoring requirements. This is

marginally above the target of less than five per year. The majority of events related to

improper system maintenance by operators, in particular the cleaning of cameras. These

resulted two cautions and one warning being issued and five operators being educated on

their obligations.

The E-Monitoring performance target was not met during 2019-20.

Quota Reconciliation

A total of 13 fishers failed to reconcile their over catches by the due date; which is up from

the 2018-19 with six instances, but significantly down from 2017-18 with 29 instances and

2016-17 with 30 instances. AFMA worked with the 13 fishers to resolve most of the matters,

with all but one being issued with an official caution whilst one matter is still under

investigation.

The quota reconciliation performance target was met, with an average of 1.1 per month.

Closure Monitoring

There were two detected closure breaches during 2019-20. Both operators were given

cautions and no further action was taken.

The closure monitoring performance target was met during 2019-20 with the target of less

than five.

AFMA domestic prosecutions for 2019-20

During 2019-20, AFMA domestic compliance team finalised two matters in May 2020 for

suspected breaches of section 95(1)(g) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991 resulting in

one conviction being recorded with fines of $1,800 and forfeiture of $20,703 and the second

matter resulted in the withdrawal of the charges.

AFMA Fisheries Officer monitors unload of catch

Photo courtesy AFMA

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International Compliance

In 2020, AFMA developed and adopted an International Compliance and Engagement

Programme 2020-22 (ICEP) that outlines AFMA’s approach to effectively deter illegal foreign

fishing in Commonwealth fisheries and waters where Australia has an interest. Australia’s

efforts have been very successful in curtailing IUU activities within the Australian Exclusive

Economic Zone (EEZ) and in waters where it has an interest. However there is a need to

remain vigilant as IUU fishing is dynamic and Australia’s healthy fish stocks are attractive to

those seeking to derive a benefit. As such, responses to IUU fishing require ongoing and

persistent effort and collaboration across multiple sectors.

In order to achieve the objective the ICEP consists of five key areas:

• Communications

• Enforcement operations

• Capability development and supplementation

• Strategic engagement

• Targeted threat response.

Our approach to IUU foreign fishing is multifaceted comprising on-the-water surveillance and

enforcement, regional cooperation, diplomatic representations, in-country education and

capacity building and international cooperation through Regional Fisheries Management

Organisations (RFMOs) and other international agreements and arrangements.

We work closely with other Australian Government agencies in detecting and responding to

incidents of illegal foreign fishing within Australian waters and in engaging other countries in

developing regional strategies for combatting IUU fishing. Our engagement with RFMOs and

other international bodies ensures that Australia’s fisheries management is consistent with

actions taken regionally and internationally, particularly in relation to straddling or migratory

stocks and in areas adjacent to the AFZ.

AFMA’s participation in the work of these regional fisheries bodies includes collaborating

with other members to develop regional compliance and management measures and

providing annual reports on the implementation of those measures. We also chair working

groups, share information on fisheries management and compliance approaches, develop

proposals and take action to deter IUU fishing. COVID-19 has created particular challenges

for compliance operations in 2020, but AFMA has remained active and innovative, ensuring

our international obligations continue to be met.

Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ)

AFMA supports Australia’s civil maritime security programme through the provision of

specialist fisheries advice both in the Maritime Border Command in Canberra and on-board

Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy patrol platforms. Our efforts focus on

high risk areas for incursions by illegal fishers and deterring fishers operating in close

proximity to the AFZ from conducting illegal fishing operations. During 2019-20, a total of

four Indonesian illegal foreign fishing vessels were apprehended across Australia’s northern

waters. This number continues the downward trend with a total of five apprehensions in the

2018-19 financial year, 14 apprehensions in the 2017-18 financial year and 15 in 2016-17.

In total, 22 foreign fishers were detained for illegal fishing in Australian waters, with five

Indonesian nationals the subject of criminal prosecution in Australia. Those prosecuted

received penalties including fines totalling over $34,360. All boats were confiscated by

Australian authorities. Two were destroyed at AFMA’s contracted vessel disposal facilities

and two were destroyed at sea. One ongoing matter involving an Indonesian fishing vessel

apprehended in February 2018 was finalised with the owners forfeiting $110,000.

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AFMA continued to work closely with Maritime Border Command, the Australian Maritime

Safety Authority and Parks Australia as part of a whole-of-government program to manage

the retrieval and disposal of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear in Australia’s

northern waters. During the 2019-20 financial year, 26 pieces of equipment, mostly Fish

Aggregating Devices, were retrieved and disposed of. This compares to 25 for the previous

financial year.

AFMA inspected four foreign fishing vessels that entered an Australian port during 2019-20.

We continue to monitor and respond to developments regarding IUU fishing in the Southern

Ocean. All IUU vessels listed by the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living

Resources (CCAMLR) remain out of action as a result of effective regional cooperation

involving relevant port States, flag States and States whose nationals that control and

benefit from the activities of these vessels. Disruption activities were undertaken in relation

to one unlisted vessel with information being disseminated internationally to assist in closing

down ports and the opportunity to unload catch and resupply.

Australia continues to work with France in the Southern Ocean under the Australia-France

Cooperative Agreement allowing for joint Australian and French patrols to enforce each

other’s fishing laws in the respective EEZs and Territorial Seas in the Southern Ocean.

AFMA officers embarked on one patrol on the French Naval Ship L’Astrolabe, during 2019-

20.

Multilateral Patrols/Operations

AFMA participates in both bilateral and multilateral coordinated patrols and operations.

These patrols and operations seek to prevent and deter IUU fishing in the AFZ and in the

high seas, as well as in northern waters and the Southern Ocean.

AFMA participated in and hosted Operation Nasse, an annual multilateral maritime

surveillance operation involving France, New Zealand, the United States of America and

Australia. Operation Nasse works to detect and deter IUU fishing and identify fishers not

complying with international fisheries obligations in the high seas of the Western and Central

Pacific Ocean.

AFMA also supported four Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) multilateral

operations across the Pacific which involved deploying AFMA officers to provide training and

on-water technical and capacity support, as well as sharing expertise in the coordination of

aerial surveillance and patrol assets. When COVID-19 restrictions impeded international

travel AFMA continued to support these types of operations through virtual engagement with

the FFA Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre and through fishing vessel profiling and

aerial surveillance support.

Capacity Building

AFMA continues to deliver one of its functions under the Fisheries Administration Act 1991

to provide technical expertise in fisheries management to partners, including other countries.

AFMA officers provide theoretical training and capacity building to support regional efforts to

address IUU fishing, and also in support of broader Australian Government initiatives, such

as the Defence-led Pacific Maritime Security Program and Department of Foreign Affairs

and Trade (DFAT) Pacific Strategy. As part of a DFAT funded programme, AFMA officers

supported the delivery (through the University of South Pacific) of the Certificate IV in

Fisheries Compliance and Enforcement to Pacific Island participants. AFMA officers also

provided theoretical training to partner countries’ officers through participation in cooperative

enforcement activities coordinated by the FFA Secretariat.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

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FEATURE STORY: Operation Nasse 2019

For the past five years, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America

have cooperated on monitoring, control and surveillance fisheries operations in the high

seas areas of the south west Pacific Ocean. The objective is to monitor compliance with the

Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs) of the Western and Central Pacific

Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). These multilateral operations provide a unique opportunity

for fisheries officers to gather information on how WCPFC CMMs work in practice as well as

enabling vessel operators to seek advice and information on WCPFC CMMs.

Over time, fisheries officers have seen an increase in the presence and use of turtle and

seabird mitigation devices demonstrating a commitment and willingness by the fishing

crews’ and flag States to comply with WCPFC CMMs. In addition to other verification tools

such as observers and electronic monitoring, high seas boarding and inspection activities

also ensure that requirements relating to vessel level reporting are met. In particular, the

reporting of reliable and accurate catch and effort data will remain a focus of these

operations because this information is critical to support WCPFC decision making and to

measure compliance with vessel level reporting obligations.

During this operation a total 19 fishing vessels were boarded and inspected and a further six

were subject to radio interrogation. Thirteen suspected breaches across nine vessels were

detected and reported to the flag States of the fishing vessels for further investigation.

This operation highlights the value of multilateral cooperation and the outcomes enhance

regional approaches to sustainably manage fisheries resources, critical to both Australia and

our Pacific neighbours.

Multilateral Operation Operation Nasse - an AFMA officer inspects a tori line (used to scare seabirds away from baited hooks) during

fishing on board a foreign flagged longliner

Photo courtesy AFMA

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 27

4. Deliver efficient, cost-effective and

accountable management of Commonwealth

fisheries resources

Purpose

AFMA delivers value for money through improved business processes and systems that

provide better valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms. By removing unnecessary

regulation and making it easy to comply, we are offering incentives that reward compliant

fishers. Alignment of our stakeholder expectations through the use of broad engagement

systems and shared objectives ensures accountability to stakeholders and the broader

Australian community.

Results

Criteria source: The performance indicators below are recorded in AFMA's chapter in the

Agriculture, Water and the Environment 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statements p. 236 and in

AFMA's Corporate Plan for 2019-22 p. 15.

Performance criteria 2019-20

Target Actual

4.1 Industry cost recovery charges do not exceed the levels

derived by increasing the 2005-06 recoveries by the

Consumer Price Index each year

<$19.0

million

$14.3

million

4.2 Communications subscribers via afma.gov.au

• Media releases

• News article

850

1,200

751

1,095

4.3 Communications Facebook

• Likes

7

• Followers

8

3,800

4,100

5,064

5,350

4.4 AFMA Twitter

• New account to be set up in 2019-20

Focus for

social

media for

2019-20

has been

Facebook

Methods for measuring performance:

1. Industry cost recovery measure is calculated using 2005-06 total cost recoveries and

adding CPI adjustments.

2. Communications measures are calculated using reporting functions including,

Google Analytics, SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and Facebook.

7

Likes or fans are the people who choose to follow AFMA’s Facebook page, and content published by AFMA may appear in their

Facebook news feed.

8

Followers may or may not be fans, and content published by AFMA may appear in their Facebook news feed.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

28

Analysis

Cost Recovery

By maintaining close consideration of fisher catch/cost/risks, we continue to try to minimise

any increase in industry charges as well as seeking to reduce regulatory impacts. Initiatives

to achieve these efficiencies include:

e-Fish

In 2019-20 AFMA successfully completed the FRDC funded e-fish: An Integrated data

capture and sharing project.

Recognising the challenges experienced by fisheries data users in maximising the value of

fisheries data holdings, the project explored how a fisheries management agency could

better meet the demands of the Australian community and fisheries stakeholders to readily

access and use fisheries data.

The e-fish project was a successful collaborative approach to understand the perspectives of

multiple data user types in each of the Australian fisheries jurisdictions with key insights

gained into current data systems, data sharing and usage, challenges and suggestions for

improvement that can be implemented across fisheries agencies. The analysis undertaken

in the e-fish project highlighted the importance of increasing the availability, integration, use

and confidence in fisheries data as an essential tool for effective data-driven decision

making.

The e-fish project produced key IT-based recommendations, validated through proof of

concept testing, that are well suited to the fisheries operating environment and would

support the functionality and flexibility needed by fisheries agencies.

AFMA is now considering the recommendations of the report as part of a broader roadmap

for enhancing its data and information framework and outcomes and builds on the

successes realised through the Agency Data Capture (ADC) project (see Feature Story on

page 33). As the lead on the e-fish project, AFMA will be working to widely distribute the

findings of the project across fisheries agencies so they too can consider the

recommendations in future data architecture planning and investment. The e-fish project

marks a significant step towards making the full value of fisheries data accessible to the

Australian community and fisheries stakeholders.

The final e-fish project report is available on the FRDC website at:

https://www.frdc.com.au/project/2018-026

Data collection and exchange

In line with AFMA’s ICT Strategic Plan, we have successfully delivered the “Agency Data

Capture Project (ADC): Phase 2” project. This project was designed and implemented to

extend AFMA’s business data sharing and exchange capabilities internal and external to the

agency, through the use of modern and standardised technology, primarily Application

Programming Interfaces (APIs). The ADC project is a genuine digital transformational project

and more specifically APIs are a widely adopted modern technology which are being utilised

significantly across Australian Government agencies, an approach which is in line with the

Australian Governments Digital Strategy.

The ADC Phase 2 project was delivered successfully releasing several APIs and the back-

end infrastructure built off cloud technology, now allows AFMA to integrate with various third

party stakeholders with ease to share and exchange data. The project proved the concept

by releasing APIs in support of receiving digital logbooks for the Line Fishing Method,

replacing AFMAs current legacy system for this Line method. The APIs and infrastructure

have also been implemented for the Prawn, Gillnet, Boat Seine and Trawl Fishing logbook

methods, to start trialling this service later in 2020.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 29

In addition to the logbook implementation, the project has completed the delivery of the

Catch Disposal Record exchange channel through the same mechanisms, which will

commence trials in the latter parts of 2020. The new system builds on AFMAs current digital

submission capabilities and provides enhancements for AFMA stakeholders through an

improved design which better allows vendors to connect and use an AFMA system and

includes data validation on submission automatically.

The ADC project was developed to be an enterprise wide data sharing platform, and through

the project AFMA integrated with other partners including the vessel monitoring provider

Trackwell and the Department of Home Affairs. These connections demonstrated the

simplicity of utilising modern and standardised technology to readily share and consume

data.

The submission of data through the new data capture platform will streamline internally how

AFMA can process the volume of data it collects, vastly reducing the manual administrative

overheads associated with data capture and entry. The more uptake of the ADC platform

across Commonwealth fisheries will start to see opportunities for AFMA to refocus its

resourcing efforts from data entry to data analytics, further building on the high level of

service already offered by allowing more proactivity and anticipating the needs of our

stakeholders.

Co-management arrangements

The Northern Prawn Fishery industry works closely with AFMA and cooperates through

formal co-management arrangements to assist with a range of key management functions.

For example, the industry manages the collection and provision of catch and effort

information, the quality control of the information and its dissemination to all users. We also

entered into a formal co-management arrangement with the South-East trawl fishery

industry, which saw the formation of the Seine and Trawl Advisory Group. This Group will

provide advice to AFMA on operational aspects of the Commonwealth Trawl Sector to better

inform fisheries management decisions. These co-management measures add value to the

management of the fishery and are cost effective for industry and AFMA. They increase

stewardship outcomes in the fishery and provide valuable information which will enhance

future management decisions. AFMA also entered into a co-management arrangement with

Tuna Australia for the first time in 2019-20 to collect data in the Eastern and Western Tuna

and Billfish Fisheries.

AFMA and the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) continued delivering

co-management services for a range of key management issues. SETFIA is the key industry

body representing the Commonwealth Trawl and the East Coast Deepwater Trawl sectors of

the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery. The co-management partnership

delivered efficient catch management arrangements for eastern pink ling and snapper, and

funded an industry-led project investigating seal mitigation technology for trawl boats. The

inaugural meeting of the Seine and Trawl Advisory Group was held in the port of San Remo,

Victoria. It is anticipated future co-management arrangements with SETFIA will expand

industry functions and support AFMA delivering efficient and sustainable fisheries

management in a sustainable manner.

Accountability

AFMA ensures accountability to our stakeholders by proactively engaging with

Commonwealth commercial fishers and fishing associations, researchers, environment and

conservation organisations, other Australian Government, territory and state agencies, and

recreational and Indigenous fishers about our management of Commonwealth fisheries and

compliance activities. In 2019-20 this included the formal and informal initiatives detailed

below.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

30

Stakeholder engagement

During 2019-20, AFMA developed and finalised the First People Acknowledgement Guide.

The guide has been designed to assist staff, AFMA Commissioners and AFMA Chairs and

members of advisory committees, in understanding our approach and expectations with

regard to the recognition aspects of Indigenous affairs.

It draws on similar guidance developed by the Department of Defence, Australian Public

Service Commission and Reconciliation Australia.

The guide is not designed to be comprehensive and will evolve as AFMA further develops its

engagement and acknowledgement of Australia’s First Nations Peoples. With regional

offices in the Torres Strait, Darwin and Lakes Entrance and our home office in Canberra,

AFMA has connections with a broad range of Australia’s First Nations Peoples. This guide

sets out how, when developing policies, programs and services, AFMA will acknowledge the

knowledge and contribution of First Nations Peoples. The approach ensures that our work is

delivered with respect and sensitivity to the experiences and perspectives of First Nations

Peoples.

As well as providing guidance for the use of Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country, the

guide includes information on key ceremonial and commemorative dates and where

relevant, how AFMA celebrates these events.

Public consultation

AFMA engaged in formal public consultation on policy and fisheries management changes

during 2019-20, including the Fisheries Management Paper 5 Exploration of Fish Resources

In addition to public consultation, comments were also sought from Management Advisory

Committees (MACs) and Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs), the Commonwealth

Fisheries Association and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Engaging with the public and promoting Australian seafood

AFMA has run a number of social campaigns including ‘What’s my scientific name?’ and the

‘#putfishonyourdish’ Christmas campaign to promote sustainable Australian seafood and the

work of the Australian seafood industry. AFMA actively engaged with industry stakeholders

to share the campaign and encourage voting on their key target species. Statistics indicated

a good level of engagement for both campaigns from a range of stakeholders (industry,

recreational fishers and general public).

Photo: “What’s my scientific name” campaign

Facebook @AustralianFisheriesManagementAuthority

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 31

Photo: ‘#putfishonyourdish’ Christmas campaign

Facebook @AustralianFisheriesManagementAuthority

Engagement throughout COVID-19

We also focused on providing updates to the Commonwealth fishing industry regarding

disruptions to our business operations through to operating practices during COVID-19 by

creating a designated section on the AFMA website for pandemic related updates. Key

information was also distributed through phone calls, emails, letters, SMS and through

AFMA’s Facebook channel.

Engagement channels

Our online systems such as GoFish, Vessel Monitoring System, electronic messaging, port

visits, public and issue-specific meetings, both in Australia and overseas, and participation

and attendance at the Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference, have also provided

valuable avenues for engagement with a broad range of stakeholders.

The 2019 Stakeholder Survey indicated that the main source of news/media from AFMA was

AFMA news emails (1158 subscribers), followed by the website and then social media - see

Figure 1 below.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

32

Figure 1: AFMA website traffic performance July 2019 - June 2020

We also continued to publish raw, aggregated fishing gear and effort data on data.gov.au, to

make it publicly available, and to encourage stakeholders to fully utilise data collected by the

agency.

Client service charter

Our Client Service Charter sets out the services and standards that all clients or

stakeholders can expect from us. It applies to all of our fisheries administration and

corporate services functions, including our licensing function. Our service charter is available

on our website afma.gov.au.

We use our licensing system, GoFish, to record the timeliness of responses for licensing

transactions. During 2019-20 more than 99 per cent of licensing correspondence and

transactions submitted by concession holders were dealt with in accordance with our Client

Services Charter. No formal client service complaints were received by AFMA during

2019-20.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 2: PERFORMANCE • 33

FEATURE STORY: Agency Data Capture -

Simplifying data sharing

In 2019-20 AFMA undertook the ADC project to improve the quality and exchange of

fisheries data and enable AFMA to deliver more digital services to the Commonwealth

fishing industry.

The project modernised AFMA’s data sharing capabilities through the use of APIs, aligning

AFMA with the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy.

ADC enables AFMA to extend the use of digital logbooks to more fishers. Receiving data

digitally improves data quality and enables its timely use in decision making as well as

deriving cost efficiencies for the fishing industry. ADC is also being trialled for digital catch

disposal records (CDRs). Digitising CDRs will allow verified catch information to be

integrated into AFMA’s databases faster, simplifying data sharing and enhancing decision

making.

ADC was developed as an agency wide data sharing platform, allowing AFMA to integrate

with external partners, such as our vessel monitoring system provider and other government

agencies. The platform will provide seamless data sharing opportunities in the future with

other services, including scientific research, meeting our reporting obligations under

international bodies, such as regional fisheries management organisations, and finally

contributing towards whole of government initiatives.

AFMA will continue to invest in expanding this platform to streamline the collection and

collation of all fisheries management data, enabling AFMA to continue making cost effective

management decisions based on near real-time data.

The ADC platform presents an opportunity for AFMA to refocus resourcing efforts from data

entry to areas such as data analytics. Further building on the high level of service already

offered, the platform allows more proactivity in decision making and anticipating the needs of

our stakeholders.

This digital transformation will see AFMA continue to enhance our services in regard to the

effective and efficient management and monitoring of commercial Commonwealth and

Torres Strait fishing, ensuring Australian fish stocks and our fishing industry are viable now

and in the future.

Sharing Fisheries Data

Photo courtesy Bruce Miller Alamy Stock Photo

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

34

PART 3 FISHERY REPORTS

Introduction

In response to the updated Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Bycatch

Policy 2018, major fisheries such as the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery, Southern and

Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery and the Northern Prawn Fishery are developing

fisheries management strategies that include updated harvest and bycatch strategies with

integrated data and research plans. Other fisheries are being reviewed and updated in

accordance with timelines set out in the Harvest Strategy Policy guidelines.

During 2019-20 protected species interactions continue to remain a focus for AFMA. We are

working with the South East trawl industry to develop new arrangements to minimise

interactions between trawl gear and seabirds. Restrictions on discarding of biological

material in high risk zones of the fishery were introduced in 2019, coupled with an exemption

process that incentivised fishers to develop other ways to reduce interactions. In addition we

completed a review of the dolphin mitigation strategies in the small pelagic and gillnet hook

and trap fisheries to continue to minimise, avoid and respond to any interactions with

dolphins.

AFMA continued to engage closely with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the

Environment-led process to develop the Commonwealth Fisheries Resource Sharing

Framework. A discussion paper was released for public comment in May 2020. The

consultation will inform the drafting of a framework to guide decision making and ensure

equitable access among commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers to Commonwealth

fisheries resources.

We also embraced further co-management opportunities with the Commonwealth fishing

industry. Successful co-management may reduce regulatory burden on fishers build industry

capacity and contribute to efficient and cost-effective management of the fishery.

In 2019 AFMA and Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd (NPFI) entered a new multiyear

contract for the provision of co-management services. The new contract continues to

strengthen the co-management partnership, with NPFI taking on additional responsibilities

for administering the Northern Prawn Fishery Surveys in collaboration with CSIRO. In 2020

AFMA formally delegated data disclosure authorisation to the NPFI CEO to cover some

fisheries related data and manage data requests on behalf of the industry. This delegation

marks a milestone for AFMA and is the first such delegation between AFMA and an industry

association.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 35

Gross Value of Production

The gross value of production is an indication of the economic value of fisheries. ABARES’

most recent fishery statistics indicate that the annual gross value of Commonwealth fisheries

production (GVP), that is the landed value of product, for 2019-20 has been maintained at

around $400 million.

Performance results discussed in fishery reports

Estimated Catch Totals for 2019-20

Estimated catch totals are taken from data compiled by AFMA from catch and effort logs and

Catch Disposal Records sourced from fishers in Commonwealth managed or jointly

managed fisheries. These catch totals represent ‘trunked' (processed) weight for the

financial year July 2019 to June 2020.

Performance Results

The sources of information presented in the fishery performance results shown are:

• Maximum economic yield data presented in the reports are based on ABARES GVP

data for Commonwealth fisheries and AFMA stock assessments.

• Data on fishing mortality and biomass are taken from Fishery Status Reports 2020

prepared by ABARES.

Diana, Saxon Onward and Voyager P docked in Hobart

Photo courtesy AFMA

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

36

List of Fishery Reports

AFMA managed fisheries:

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Coral Sea Fishery

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

Northern Prawn Fishery

North West Slope Trawl and Western Deepwater Trawl Fisheries

Small Pelagic Fishery

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery

Southern Squid Jig Fishery

Joint managed fisheries:

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery

High seas permits

Non-operational fisheries:

Norfolk Island Fishery

Skipjack Tuna Fishery

South Tasman Rise Fishery

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 37

Bass Strait Central Zone

Scallop Fishery

Estimated catch: 2,931 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Commercial Scallop (Pecten

fumatus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery continues to be managed in accordance with

the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 and the Bass Strait

Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy. The management arrangements include

open and closed seasons, area closures, catch limits and size limits.

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 was amended in 2019

to address the ‘sunsetting’ of the Fisheries Management (Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop

Fishery) Regulation 2002 on 1 October 2019; change the definition of fishing season; and

shorten the notification period where AFMA must provide notice to concession holders of the

total allowable catch decision.

There are two species of scallop for which quota SFRs have been granted, the Commercial

Scallop, Pecten fumatus, which is the main target species; and the Doughboy Scallop,

Chlamys (Mimachlamys) asperrimus, which is common throughout the Bass Strait but is

rarely retained.

The 2019 fishing season opened on 12 July and closed on 31 December 2019.

Analysis of Performance

Status of fish stocks

Commercial Scallop abundance and recruitment is naturally variable and consequently they

are not managed to a specific biomass target. Instead, the operational objectives of the

harvest strategy are to:

• keep stocks at ecologically sustainable levels and, within that context, maximise the

economic returns to the Australian community

• pursue efficient and cost-effective management.

The intent of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy is to maintain

the stock at sustainable levels by closing sufficient areas of the fishery that contain a high

density of spawning size scallops (greater than 85 mm) to promote recruitment, and allows

for the remaining areas to be fished within a total allowable catch that represents a

sustainable harvest. With the pre-season biomass survey being the primary source of

information to inform catch limits and closures.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

38

The 2019 pre-season survey estimated a Commercial Scallop biomass of approximately

48,745 tonnes for the areas surveyed, the largest biomass recorded for the fishery for many

years. While most of the known beds are ageing, there is evidence of recruitment, however

this is not widespread across the surveyed beds.

A total allowable catch for Commercial Scallop of 3,897 tonnes was set for the 2019 fishing

season, of which 2,931 tonnes was caught. Four area closures were put in place to protect

approximately 10,189 tonnes of adult Commercial Scallop and one voluntary closure was

implemented by industry to protect juvenile Commercial Scallops.

The default total allowable catch of 100 tonnes was set for Doughboy Scallops for the 2019

fishing season. No Doughboy Scallops have been landed since 2017.

Economic returns

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy focuses on ensuring the

sustainability of the stock by protecting areas of spawning biomass each season. This

approach allows industry the flexibility to catch scallops from open beds, thereby improving

economic returns while ensuring continued ecological sustainability.

While the biological status of the scallop resource is positive, AFMA, in consultation with the

Scallop Resource Assessment Group and Scallop Management Advisory Committee has

commenced a review of the Harvest Strategy with a view to better incorporating economic

data in the decision making process. This approach will continue to be developed during

2020-21.

Stable catches and beach prices were maintained throughout the 2019-20 season. The

number of boats operating has also remained stable.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 39

Coral Sea Fishery

Estimated catch: 25.7 tonnes

(excluding aquarium sector)

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Sea cucumber sector:

Black teatfish (Holothuria whitmael)

Prickly redfish (Thelenota ananas)

Surf redfish (Actinopyga mauritiana)

Aquarium sector:

Multiple species

Lobster and Trochus sector:

Tropical rock lobster (Panulirus

ornatus) possibly other species

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Sea cucumber sector:

Other sea cucumber species (11

spp.)

Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain

Sea cucumber sector:

White teatfish (Holothuria fuscogilva)

Uncertain Uncertain Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain

Line sector:

Mixed reef fish and sharks

Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

There is no statutory management plan for the Coral Sea Fishery. There are four sectors:

Sea cucumber, Aquarium, Lobster and Trochus, and Line. These sectors are managed

through input and output controls including limited entry, catch limits, spatial closures, move-

on provisions, size limits and catch and effort. Fishers must hold permits to fish in the

fishery. A revised Aquarium Sector Harvest Strategy came into effect in July 2019 with new

catch triggers that better reflect current fishing practices and best available scientific

understanding of population sizes across the fishery.

Analysis of Performance

Catch and effort in the Coral Sea Fishery remains relatively low. In the 2018-19 fishing

season, six boats were active in the fishery: four in the Line and Trap Sector and two in the

Aquarium Sector. No effort was recorded for the sea cucumber or lobster and trochus

sector(s) and there was no reported catch of white teatfish. On this basis, white teatfish is

classified as not subject to overfishing.

In the Aquarium Sector, there was a total of 10,798 dive hours in 2018-19, which was an

increase from 2,204 dive hours in 2017-18, with the same number of boats fishing. In the

Line and Trap Sector, there was a total 204,046 hooks and 111 lines set in 2018-19, which

was a decrease from 385,616 hooks and 187 lines set in 2017-18. There was six hours of

trawl activity recorded in 2018-19 from a single boat, prior to the permits being removed

from the fishery as part of a voluntary buy out administered by Parks Australia. Catch in the

Coral Sea Fishery decreased from 64.7 tonnes in 2017-18 to 25.7 tonnes of fish products in

the 2018-19 season. All of this catch was finfish.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

40

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

Estimated catch: 450 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus

eleginoides)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery is managed in accordance with the Macquarie

Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006. It is managed through a system of output

controls in the form of individually transferable quotas, which are allocated as SFRs under

the management plan. All operations conducted in the fishery were compliant with the

performance criteria outlined in the management plan. One boat operated in the fishery

during the 2019-20 fishing season.

There were no changes to the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006

during the 2019-20 fishing period.

Analysis of Performance

Performance - status of fish stocks

In November 2017, the AFMA Commission set the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery total

allowable catch for Patagonian toothfish at 450 tonnes for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fishing

seasons.

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery has been divided into three regions, noting that the

toothfish within these three regions are considered to be a single stock. Industry agreed to,

as far as possible, adopt a fishing strategy endorsed by the Sub-Antarctic Fisheries

Resource Assessment Group, which spreads fishing effort across the three regions.

Performance - status of bycatch

Bycatch is generally low in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery. Catch limits of 50 tonnes

for any one species were set for 2019-20, consistent with previous years. These catch limits

were not exceeded in 2019-20, and have never been exceeded for any one species in a

season.

External Reviews

The management of the fishery is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship

Council. A surveillance audit was conducted in April 2020 and confirmed the fishery

continues to meet the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 41

Northern Prawn Fishery

Estimated catch: 5,819 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The principal legal framework for the management of the fishery is specified in the Northern

Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995. The Northern Prawn Fishery is a multi-species

fishery managed through input controls including limited entry, season length and individual

transferable effort units - based on fishing gear size. The fishery relies on: a size and sex-

based stock assessment model for brown and grooved tiger prawns; a biomass dynamic

assessment model for blue endeavour prawns; and a quarterly age based biological stock

assessment model for redleg banana prawns. There is currently no formal stock assessment

for the white banana prawn fishery as the species is short lived and its abundance is driven

by environmental factors, principally rainfall. The operational objective of the white banana

prawn Harvest Strategy is to allow sufficient escapement to ensure an adequate spawning

biomass of banana prawns (based on historical data), and to achieve the maximum

economic yield from the fishery.

The Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan 1995 was reviewed during the period and

will be subject to some changes during 2019-20, primarily to reflect the revised

Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy and Bycatch Policy. Overall the Plan remains

effective for the management of the fishery.

Analysis of Performance

Performance - status of fish stocks

Tropical prawn species are very short-lived animals and their stock size is prone to wide

inter-annual fluctuation with strong dependence on prevailing environmental conditions. For

this reason, the assessment of prawn stock health is based on a five-year moving average

of spawning stock abundance relative to a spawning stock abundance that produces

maximum sustainable yield, which should not fall below the limit reference point of 50 per

cent.

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

White banana prawn

(Fenneropenaeus merguiensis

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Brown tiger prawn (Penaeus

esculentus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Grooved tiger prawn (Penaeus

semisulcatus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Blue endeavour prawn (Metapenaeus

endeavouri)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Red endeavour prawn (Metapenaeus

ensis)

Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain

Red-leg banana prawn

(Fenneropenaeus indicus)

Uncertain Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

42

The last stock assessment for brown and grooved tiger prawns was completed in 2020 and

determined that the stocks are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The

assessment indicated that the five-year year moving average of spawning stock biomass

was well above 100 per cent of spawning stock biomass at maximum sustainable yield,

meaning that neither stock is overfished.

The management objective of maximising economic yield is also assessed against an

annual target reference point, which is a spawning stock size equal to that which is

estimated to produce maximum economic yield. Both brown and grooved tiger prawn

spawning stocks were assessed as being close to or above the target in the 2020

assessment at 125 per cent and 99 per cent, respectively.

An additional in-season catch-rate trigger for pursuing maximum economic yield is also used

in the fishery. The catch rate did not drop below the trigger in the 2019 tiger prawn season

and the fishery remained open until the final day of the season on 30 November 2019. All 52

boat SFRs were utilised during the 2019 tiger prawn season.

As with the tiger prawn fishery, all 52 boat SFRs were utilised during the 2020 banana prawn

season (1 April to 15 June 2019). Total catch in the 2020 banana prawn fishery was

substantially lower than in 2019, decreasing from 5,640 tonnes to an estimated catch of

2,924 tonnes. This level of catch is below average and lower catches were likely impacted

by lower rainfall. Changes in environmental conditions, such as rainfall, normally causes

fluctuations in year-to-year stock size (and therefore catch) in this short-lived, tropical prawn

species. The in-season catch-rate trigger for banana prawn season was breached this year

prompting the early closure of the fishery on 10 June 2020. This trigger is designed to

pursue maximum economic yield within a season by triggering an early closure when catch

rates drop below the annually agreed level.

The harvest strategy for redleg banana prawns is being reviewed to explore options that

allow catch and effort levels to be progressively adjusted to levels that achieve maximum

economic yield. A management strategy evaluation was completed in 2020 that provided

several suitable control rules that would enhance management of redleg banana prawn. A

decision on the preferred approach will be considered in late 2020 with changes to take

effect in 2021.

During 2019, fishing catch and effort in the redleg banana prawn fishery was lower than in

2018 and similar to the relatively low effort of 79 and 76 boat days for 2015 and 2016

respectively. The total catch in 2019 was 47 tonnes across 75 boat days compared to 238

tonnes across 213 boat days in 2018. The fishing effort pattern in 2019 was unprecedented

with almost all of the fishing effort in the second quarter, whereas in previous years the

fishing effort was distributed in the second and third quarters (April-September). Although

economic reasons may explain the change in fishing patterns, the first season catch per unit

effort (CPUE-an index of relative stock abundance) indicates that the stock abundance in

2019 was below average.

The total annual spawning biomass trajectory predicted the prawn population to have

declined after 2014 before reversing in 2018 with the CPUE trending back towards the target

level. The latest CPUE data suggests that spawning biomass is again predicted to have

decreased slightly. The 2019 stock size is estimated to be below the target level but above

the limit reference point, although there is uncertainty with this prediction.

The total annual spawning biomass trajectory predicted the prawn population to have

declined after 2014 before reversing in 2018 with the CPUE trending back towards the target

level. The 2019 stock size is estimated to be below the target level but above the limit

reference point. The low level of catch and effort in 2019 is unlikely to take the stock to

below its limit reference point. Variability in biomass is to be expected for short-lived species

such as prawns, but as the biomass levels are estimated to have been below the target level

for a number of recent years, additional management measures are being implemented to

reduce the risk of further declines. The harvest strategy is being reviewed to explore options

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 43

that allow catch and effort levels to be progressively adjusted to levels that achieve

maximum economic yield.

Performance - status of bycatch

Following the great progress reducing small fish bycatch through the Northern Prawn

Fishery Bycatch Strategy 2015-18, new bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) are being

implemented from the 2020 tiger prawn season. The new BRDs have been demonstrated

through scientific trials to achieve up to 44 per cent reduction in bycatch compared to the

standard device (the square mesh panel) previously used in the fishery. The newest device

known as ‘Tom’s Fisheye’ creates an area of low pressure in the trawl net as it is pulled

through the water, increasing access to a gap in the net for fish to escape. There will be a

choice for Northern Prawn Fishery trawl boat operators to use one of four more effective

devices from 2020. The Northern Prawn Fishery fishers, led by the NPFI, continue to

demonstrate commitment to reducing bycatch through design and trial of new equipment

and technology. It is important that fishers can use an effective device that will suit different

operating conditions.

An updated Bycatch Strategy is under development for the Northern Prawn Fishery and will

be published during 2020. The new strategy will continue to build on previous achievements

with bycatch reduction and respond to updated guidance from the Commonwealth Fisheries

Bycatch Policy 2018. The strategy will have a focus on improving information on interactions

with sawfish species, including identifying how sawfish interact with the fishing gear,

particularly around the Turtle Excluder Devices that are used in all fishing nets.

Performance - economic returns

During the most recent financial year (2018-19) the Northern Prawn GVP was $117.6 million

and the Northern Prawn Fishery was the highest valued Commonwealth managed fishery.

The fishery is broadly (across the two key species groups - banana and tiger prawns)

managed to pursue maximum economic yield. Overall fishing effort limits (fishing gear and

season lengths) are set on the result of outputs from the bio-economic model for tiger and

endeavour prawns. Additionally, season length is further controlled through catch-rate

triggers in the banana and tiger prawn sub-fisheries to account for annual variability in these

stocks. Recent assessments of economic performance by ABARES indicates that the level

of fishing effort in the fishery is close to maximum economic yield targets.

Net economic returns in the Northern Prawn Fishery reached a peak of $32.1 million in

2015-16. Economic performance remained stable at $30.9 million in 2016-17 but was

forecast to dampen in 2017-18 on the back of lower GVP and higher unit fuel prices. Based

on previous net economic returns and relatively stable economic conditions, it is anticipated

that the economic performance of the Northern Prawn Fishery will have remained positive in

2017-18 and 2018-19. While further economic assessment has been undertaken, results are

not available for this report.

External Reviews

The management of the fishery is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship

Council. A surveillance audit was conducted in February 2020 and confirmed the fishery

continues to meet the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

44

Emerging Issues

Throughout 2019-20, there has been continued investment into prawn aquaculture, with

increased interest in the Northern Prawn Fishery as a source of black tiger prawn

(P. monodon) as aquaculture broodstock. Aquaculture businesses can access black tiger

prawn broodstock through three fishing permits issued to trawlers to specifically target black

tiger prawns outside of the main fishing seasons of the fishery, or through a commercial

arrangement to purchase or lease Northern Prawn Fishery SFRs. During 2019-20 we have

seen increased use of commercial arrangements to use Northern Prawn Fishery SFRs to

target black tiger prawns for broodstock, and between these arrangements and the three

dedicated permits, the fishery met demand throughout the year.

The increased demand (and indications of greater needs in the future) present several

management challenges for AFMA and the fishery. The minor role that black tiger prawns

have played in the fishery in the past has led to there being a generally poorer

understanding of the stock status than for other targeted prawn species and the key drivers

of that status. A stock assessment commenced in late 2019 with results expected later in

2020. This is a foundational assessment and while there are some data challenges, we

expect the results will inform updated arrangements to apply in 2021.

Detailed stakeholder consultation, innovation and commercial relationships will also be

essential in order to find the right balance between the needs of the aquaculture industry

and the existing management arrangements with SFRs in the Northern Prawn Fishery.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 45

North West Slope and the

Western Deepwater Trawl

Fisheries

Estimated catch: Confidential

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

North West Slope Trawl Fishery

Scampi (Metanephrops

australiensis, M. boschmai, M.

velutinus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery

Bugs (Ibacus spp.)

Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain

Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery

Ruby snapper (Etelis carbunculus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

There is no formal management plan for the North West Slope Trawl Fishery or the Western

Deepwater Trawl Fishery. The fisheries are managed by granting a limited number of fishing

permits consistent with the provisions provided by the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and

the Fisheries Management Regulations 1992.

There are 11 permits allowed in the Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery and seven in the

North West Slope Trawl Fishery, all of which are valid for a maximum of five years. Fishers

must adhere to a number of permit conditions aimed at protecting stocks and ecosystems.

The permit conditions include specific gear limitations to reduce bycatch and move on

provisions if fishing gear interacts with sponges or corals.

The permit conditions in both fisheries were reviewed at the end of 2018-19 and permits re-

granted for a further five years.

Analysis of Performance

During the past five years, North West Slope Trawl and Western Deepwater Trawl Fisheries

have experienced low but stable levels of fishing effort with modest increases recorded in

2017-18 and the 2018-19 season. The limited levels of effort are due in part to permit

holders accessing more lucrative fisheries that are adjacent to the North West Slope Trawl

or Western Deepwater Trawl fishery areas. Recent increases in catch have occurred in the

North West Slope scampi fishery as market opportunities improve.

In December 2017 the North West Slope Trawl and the Western Deepwater Trawl fisheries

were declared as approved Wildlife Trade Operations for three years until December 2020.

Stakeholders in the North West Slope and Western Deepwater Trawl fisheries met during

October 2018 to consider management arrangements. Key recommendations emerging

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

46

from the meeting included support for reviewing the harvest strategy and updating the

statement of management arrangements. Updates to the management arrangements will be

considered further during the coming year in 2020-21.

External Reviews

No external reviews were completed during 2019-20.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 47

Small Pelagic Fishery

Estimated catch: 15,810 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Australian sardine (Sardinops sagax)

Blue mackerel, east/west (Scomber

australasicus)

Jack mackerel, east/west (Trachurus

declivis)

Redbait, east/west (Emmelichthys

nitidus

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Small Pelagic Fishery is managed in accordance with the Small Pelagic Fishery

Management Plan 2009. The management arrangements include SFRs, area based catch

limits and rules governing the gear that may be used. There were no changes to the Small

Pelagic Fishery Management Plan 2009 in 2019-20.

Analysis of Performance

Harvest Strategy

The Small Pelagic Fishery Harvest Strategy was last reviewed in 2017 with its reference

points and exploitation rates designed to meet the biological, ecological and economic

requirements of the fishery.

The harvest strategy uses Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM) surveys to estimate

biomass for each of the seven Small Pelagic Fishery stocks. These surveys, along with an

annual review of catch and effort data, are used to inform the catch limits set for commercial

caught species in the fishery.

The harvest strategy is scheduled for review in 2021 to ensure that it is consistent with the

Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy.

Performance - sustainability and economic returns

DEPM surveys continue to be updated for the eastern zone stocks, enabling total allowable

catches to remain at maximum levels. Most recently, the result of the 2018-19 DEPM for

jack mackerel east was considered by the Small Pelagic Fishery Resource Assessment

Group and South East Management Advisory and used to inform the 2019-20 total allowable

catch for this stock.

A further survey was undertaken in 2019-20 for blue mackerel east and Australian sardines,

the results should be available to inform the 2020-21 total allowable catch for each of these

stocks.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

48

Due to limited fishing effort, the total allowable catch for the seven target stocks were under-

caught in 2019-20. Despite this, the 2019-20 catches were the highest since the 2015-16

fishing season, indicating that incentives to fish in the Small Pelagic Fishery have improved

and that GVP and net economic returns have likely improved from previous years.

Performance - status of bycatch

Dolphin interactions are managed under the Small Pelagic Fishery Dolphin Mitigation

Strategy. The strategy aims to minimise dolphin interactions in the midwater trawl sector of

the fishery by creating incentives for fishers to innovate and adopt best practice to minimise

interactions.

The number of dolphin interactions in 2019-20 increased compared to 2018-19 despite best

efforts by AFMA and the fishing industry to reduce interactions. AFMA has subsequently

funded a pilot project using underwater cameras to observe dolphin behaviour around trawl

gear in this fishery. The ultimate aim of this project is to identify areas for further work to

improve mitigation to reduce the risk of dolphin interactions. The project is due to be

completed in 2020-21.

External Reviews

The Small Pelagic Fishery remains accredited and is approved as a wildlife trade operation

under Part 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Midwater Trawl sector of the fishery received Marine Stewardship Council Certification

in 2019.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 49

Southern and Eastern Scalefish

and Shark Fishery

Estimated catch: 18,223 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Commonwealth Trawl and Scalefish Hook sectors

Blue grenadier

(Macruronus novaezelandiae)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Blue warehou

(Seriolella brama)

Uncertain Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Blue-eye trevalla

(Hyperoglyphe antarctica)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Gemfish, eastern zone

(Rexea solandri)

Uncertain Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Gemfish, western zone

(Rexea solandri)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Gulper sharks

(Centrophorus harrissoni, C.

moluccensis, C. zeehaani)

Uncertain Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Jackass morwong

(Nemadactylus macropterus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Ocean perch

(Helicolenus barathri,H. percoides)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Pink ling

(Genypterus blacodes)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Ribaldo

(Mora moro)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Silver trevally

(Pseudocaranx georgianus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Commonwealth Trawl Sector

Deepwater sharks, western zone

(multiple spp.)

Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain

Deepwater sharks, eastern zone

(multiple spp.

Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain

Eastern school whiting

(Sillago flindersi)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Flathead

(Neoplatycephalus richardsoni and 4

other spp.)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

John dory

(Zeus faber)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Mirror dory

(Zenopsis nebulosa)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Ocean jacket, eastern zone

(Nelusetta ayraud)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

50

Orange roughy, Cascade Plateau

(Hoplostethus atlanticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Orange roughy, eastern zone

(Hoplostethus atlanticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Orange roughy, southern zone

(Hoplostethus atlanticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Orange roughy, western zone

(Hoplostethus atlanticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Oreodory - other; 3spp. (Neocyttus

rhomboidallis, Allocyttusniger, A.

verrucous

Uncertain Not

overfished

Uncertain Not

overfished

Oreodory: smooth:

(Pseudocyttus maculatus)

Cascade Plateau

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Oreodory: smooth:

(Pseudocyttus maculatus)

Non-Cascade Plateau

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Redfish, eastern

(Centroberyx affinis)

Uncertain Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Royal red prawn

(Haliporoides sibogae)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Silver warehou

(Seriolella punctata)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

East Coast Deepwater Trawl Sector

Alfonsino

(Beryx splendens)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector

Bight redfish

(Centroberyx gerrardi)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Deepwater flathead

(Neoplatycephalus conatus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Ocean jacket, western

(Nelusetta ayraud)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Orange roughy (Hoplostethus

atlanticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain Not subject to

overfishing

Uncertain

Shark Gillnet and Shark Hook sectors

Elephantfish

(Callorhinchus milii)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Gummy shark

(Mustelus antarcticus)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Sawshark

(Pristiophorus cirratus, P. nudipinnis)

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

School shark (Galeorhinus galeus) Uncertain Overfished Uncertain Overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 51

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery continues to be managed

in accordance with the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Management

Plan 2003. The fishery has seven sectors that are managed through a combination of input

and output controls including limited entry, catch limits, spatial closures, size limits and

catch-and-effort triggers that are used to initiate further analysis and assessment. The

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery sectors include:

• Commonwealth South East Trawl Sector

• East Coast Deepwater Trawl Sector

• Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector

• Scalefish Hook Sector*

• Shark Hook Sector*

• Shark Gillnet Sector*

• Trap Sector*

*collectively called the Gillnet Hook and Trap Sector

Analysis of Performance

Performance - status of fish stocks

The table above shows that there are several Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Fishery stocks that are considered to be overfished. Most of these stocks overlap

jurisdictional boundaries, meaning they are caught in a combination of Commonwealth and

state fisheries, complicating management. AFMA continues to work with State agencies to

pursue complementary arrangements in overlapping fisheries.

While the estimated total catch remains below the respective incidental catch limits for

southern and western orange roughy, the change in fishing mortality status stemmed from

the need to ensure consistency in the reasoning applied to stocks that have no recent

validation of biomass. There are no reliable indicators to determine whether the current level

of fishing mortality will allow the stocks to rebuild to above the limit reference point within a

biologically reasonable time frame.

Commonwealth rebuilding strategies are in place for blue warehou, eastern gemfish, redfish,

school shark and orange roughy. Each of these strategies implement incidental total

allowable catches and management arrangements to prevent targeting and promote

recovery of the stock to the limit reference point. The performance of the strategies are

reviewed annually by the relevant resource assessment group, and each undergo a

thorough review every five years.

Stock assessments were updated in 2019 for a number of Southern and Eastern Scalefish

and Shark Fishery species. Assessments for Bight redfish, deepwater flathead and gemfish

west estimated the current biomass, or a proxy thereof, to be above the target reference

point. Assessments for flathead and mirror dory (east and west) showed that the current

biomass, or a proxy thereof, is between the limit reference point and the target referent

point. For species assessed as being between the limit and target reference points, catches

are set at a level that will allow the stock to build to the target. Smooth oreo (other) was

assessed under the ecological risk assessment framework as a low risk, meaning fishing

mortality is sustainable.

Alternative methods for stock assessments are being considered for species where the

current index of abundance is becoming less reliable, typically because of low catch and

effort levels or changes to fishing behaviours over time. Research is being undertaken to

estimate abundance of school shark in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

52

Fishery using Close-Kin Mark-Recapture genetic methods (FRDC project 2014/024). The

first assessment using this method was delivered in 2018-19 and is currently undergoing

independent expert peer review. The further application of this method to other species in

the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery is also being considered.

Performance - economic returns

For the purposes of reporting economic key performance indicators, AFMA uses its key

commercial stocks (as defined by the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy) in each

fishery. In the 2019-20 season, there were 11 key commercial species in the Southern and

Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery with maximum economic yield targets: Bight redfish,

blue-eye trevalla, blue grenadier, deepwater flathead, eastern school whiting, gummy shark,

orange roughy east, pink ling west, pink ling east, school shark and tiger flathead.

Three of those species, tiger flathead, deepwater flathead and eastern school whiting are

assessed as being ‘on target’ or within 20 per cent of their target reference point on average

over the past five years. Three stocks - blue-eye trevalla, orange roughy east and pink ling

east - are between the limit reference point and target reference point and heading towards

the target. One stock - gummy shark - is assessed as being above the target reference

point and heading towards the target. Three stocks - Bight redfish, blue grenadier and pink

ling west - are assessed as being above the target reference point but not heading towards

the target. School shark is assessed as being below the limit reference point; however, the

latest assessment using Close-Kin Mark-Recapture genetic methods indicates that the stock

had recovered slightly during the period from 2000-2017.

Performance - reliability of information

Discard reporting by shark gillnet, shark hook and scalefish hook boats continues to be

monitored in 2019-20 by comparing logbook reported discards against electronic monitoring

reviews. While reporting by fishers has improved, it remains better for quota species than

bycatch species. AFMA continues to work with industry and scientists to improve discard

information feeding into stock assessments.

A trial was recently completed to better understand the ability of electronic monitoring to

provide information on catch and effort data in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector. The final

report is currently being drafted and this will be considered alongside a suite of alternative

data collection and monitoring options to find the most cost-effective approach for the

fishery.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on-board observers were not deployed during the

second and third quarters of 2020. Coverage has now recommenced and the Southern and

Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Resource Assessment Group will consider the potential

impact of any data loss for future stock assessments at its August 2020 data meeting.

Performance - status of bycatch

In 2019 Ecological Risk Assessments were updated for the following methods and sectors of

the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery:

• Otter board trawl method in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector;

• Danish seine method in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector;

• Otter board trawl method in the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector; and

• Shark gillnet method in the Gillnet Hook and Trap Sector.

There were 15 species in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (otter board trawl and Danish

seine) and one species in the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector, assessed as potentially

being at high risk for the period 2012-2016. Management arrangements are currently being

considered for species assessed as potentially high risk, with a view to finalising the

Commonwealth Trawl Sector and Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector bycatch and

discarding workplans later in 2020.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 53

The Ecological Risk Assessment for the shark gillnet method in the Gillnet Hook and Trap

Sector is expected to be finalised by the Shark Resource Assessment Group later in 2020.

Industry is currently coordinating a project to develop a seal mitigation device for otter board

trawl boats that will close the trawl net and stop the ingress of seals when the net is being

hauled. A prototype has been developed and trials are expected to take place in 2020.

To further ensure interactions with seabirds are minimised, additional management

arrangements were introduced during 2019-20 fishing season that require zero discharge of

biological material from otter board trawl boats when fishing gear is in the water while fishing

in high risk areas. Exemptions to the new rule will be considered where operators can

demonstrate offal management techniques that remove the risk to seabirds interacting with

trawl warps. AFMA continues to work with industry in their efforts to develop more mitigation

options to further reduce seabird interactions with otter board trawl boats, providing

feedback on designs and ultimately assessing whether it meets the requirements for an

exemption to the zero discharge requirements described above.

AFMA has commenced a review of the Upper-Slope Dogfish Management Strategy to

ensure that the strategy is on track to meet its objectives. The objective of the strategy is to

promote the recovery of Harrisson’s dogfish (Centrophorus harrissoni) and southern dogfish

(C. zeehani), both of which are listed as conservation dependent under the Environment

Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and help to mitigate the impact of fishing

on endeavour dogfish (C. moluccensis) and greeneye spurdog (Squalus chloroculus). The

review is expected to be completed in 2020-21.

External Reviews

The Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery remains accredited and approved as

a wildlife trade operation under Part 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity

Conservation Act 1999 until February 2022. The winter blue grenadier fishery was recertified

as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council in August 2020, which is valid until

February 2026.

An implementation workplan for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery

Strategic Monitoring and Review Project (SMARP, FRDC 2014-203) and Declining

Indicators Project (FRDC 2016-146) was finalised in early 2020. The workplan prioritises the

recommendations from each project, including approaches for future monitoring and

assessment options and developing additional or alternative indicators for use in future

assessments and harvest strategies.

Key to the implementation workplan is the ongoing work to develop a new Southern and

Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery harvest strategy (FRDC 2018-021) which will consider

alternative approaches to multi-species harvest strategies, including monitoring and

assessment options identified in the SMARP project.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

54

Southern Squid Jig Fishery

Estimated catch: 65 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Southern Squid Jig Fishery is managed in accordance with the Southern Squid Jig

Fishery Management Plan 2005 and the Arrow Squid Fishery Harvest Strategy. The

management arrangements include regulating the type and amount of fishing gear able to

be used. There were no changes to the Southern Squid Jig Fishery Management Plan 2005

in 2019-20.

AFMA, in consultation with the Squid Resource Assessment Group and South East

Management Advisory Committee have commenced a review of the Arrow Squid Fishery

Harvest Strategy with the intent to simplify and update the triggers and management

responses to ensure they reflect the current state of the fishery and meet the requirements

of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy.

Analysis of Performance

Status of fish stocks

Gould’s squid (also known as arrow squid) is a highly productive and relatively short lived

species. It is not managed to a target reference point; the Arrow Squid Fishery Harvest

Strategy is based on a series of catch and effort triggers which, if reached, will trigger further

analyses and management responses.

Effort and catch in the Southern Squid Jig Fishery continues to vary between seasons and

has been relatively low in recent years. Catch during 2019-20 was 65 tonnes, well below the

first catch trigger of 3,000 tonnes in the Arrow Squid Fishery Harvest Strategy and has not

resulted in further analyses and management responses being triggered.

An ongoing challenge for the squid fishery is locating commercially viable aggregations of

squid, an issue exacerbated by a small fleet size. Despite low catches, the price received

remains high.

External Reviews

No external reviews were completed during 2019-20.

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Gould’s squid (Nototodarus gouldi) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 55

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Estimated catch: 5,062 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Overfished

Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not overfished

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not overfished

Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not overfished

Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The fishery continues to be managed in accordance with the Eastern Tuna and Billfish

Fishery Management Plan 2010, and conservation and management measures mandated

by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission of which Australia is a member.

The fishery is managed through output controls (total allowable commercial catches and

individually transferable quota’s) and input controls (e.g. limited entry and gear restrictions).

During the period 2019-20 the fishery continued work on the development of harvest

strategies for broadbill swordfish and striped marlin and finalised the Eastern Tuna and

Billfish Fishery Management Strategy, which describes the operational processes AFMA

employs to meet the requirements of the higher level Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Management Plan 2010. Performance criteria detailed in the fishery management plan were

met in 2019-20.

Analysis of Performance

Status of stocks

Overall, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery catches of key commercial species were around 3

per cent higher in 2019 relative to the 2018, although the availability of key target species in

the fishery varies between years. A relatively high proportion of the total allowable

commercial catches were caught for yellowfin tuna and striped marlin but less so for

swordfish and less than half the catch limits set for albacore tuna and bigeye tuna were

caught. Domestically, the total allowable commercial catches of all the key commercial

species are currently considered to be appropriate and of no concern to the status of these

regional stocks.

There are currently three major research projects underway in the fishery. The first aims to

use genetic information to assess connectivity between target species in the Eastern Tuna

and Billfish Fishery and the broader Pacific Ocean. The second project aims to investigate

oceanographic impacts on the fishery to better understand inter-annual variations in catches,

interactions between fishery sectors, connectivity and longer term potential climate change

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

56

impacts. The third project is looking to update and improve the Eastern Tuna and Billfish

Fishery Harvest Strategy for Swordfish and Striped Marlin, which is used as the basis for

setting total allowable commercial catch for those species.

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery is part of the broader Western and Central Pacific

tuna fishery managed under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The

most recent Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission assessments for each of the

five target stocks indicate that none of these stocks are overfished or subject to overfishing.

An ecological risk assessment for the fishery was completed in mid-2019 and indicates that

the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery longline fishery as a whole does not pose a high risk to

the ecological sustainability of general bycatch, protected species or by-product species.

Fishery management arrangements

Since July 2015 all boats fishing more than 30 days a year in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish

Fishery have been required to have a system of cameras and sensors installed to monitor all

fishing operations. Footage is recorded when fishing operations are occurring to verify the

logbook records. All fishing operations on full time boats are now monitored, with 10 per cent

of all longline shots (minimum of one shot per boat, per month) reviewed and compared to

the logbook reports. Regular feedback reports are provided to Eastern Tuna and Billfish

Fishery operators to inform them of their reporting performance. Since the implementation of

e-monitoring, analyses conducted by ABARES has indicated an improvement in logbook

reporting. The improved logbook reporting will enable AFMA to make better risk

assessments and better focus resources to minimise the impact of fishing on the marine

environment.

Between May and November each year, we also implement a southern bluefin tuna zone in

the fishery to help ensure that any southern bluefin tuna caught is covered by quota and to

minimise discarding. To enter the zone, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery operators are

required to hold a minimum amount of southern bluefin tuna quota and maintain an

operational electronic monitoring system on board. The southern bluefin tuna zone location

is reviewed weekly using sea surface temperature maps and industry catch information.

During 2019-20, a project to update and improve the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Harvest Strategy continued and the integrated Fisheries Management Strategy was finalised

which updates and combines previous fishery strategies and action plans into a single

strategy to operationalise the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Plan 2010.

In relation to protected species, an increase in seabird interactions in the southern half of the

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 summer seasons

resulted in increased management responses. These responses resulted in much fewer

seabird interactions in the summer 2019-20 season. AFMA is also continuing to review turtle

and marine mammal interaction data to better understand the fisheries interactions with

these species.

External Reviews

Compliance by the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery with Conservation and Management

Measures of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is reviewed on an

annual basis under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Compliance

Monitoring Scheme. In 2018-19, as in previous years, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

management arrangements were consistent with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries

Commission measures. The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery is currently undergoing

certification from the Marine Stewardship Council for catches of yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna,

swordfish and albacore.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 57

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Estimated catch: 6,324 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific

name)

Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Southern Bluefin Tuna

(Thunnus maccoyii)

Not subject to

overfishing

Overfished Not subject to

overfishing

Overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The fishery continues to be managed in accordance with the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Management Plan 1995. It is managed through a system of output controls in the form of

individually transferable quotas, which are allocated as SFRs under the management plan.

The performance criteria detailed in the management plan were all met in 2019-20.

The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna sets an annual global total

allowable catch. From the global total allowable catch national allocations are provided to all

members. Prior to the commencement of the fishing season (1 December to 30 November),

AFMA determines a total allowable catch of southern bluefin tuna for the domestic fishery

based upon Australia’s national allocation.

The Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery is an approved wildlife trade operation for the purposes

of Parts 13 and 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

until 11 November 2022.

Analysis of Performance

Performance - quota setting

The domestic total allowable catch for the 2019-20 Southern Bluefin Tuna fishing season

was 6,165 tonnes. When undercatch from the previous season is added the effective total

allowable catch becomes 6,283 tonnes.

The AFMA Commission set the 2019-20 total allowable catch after accepting an

undertaking from the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association to voluntarily set

aside 250 tonnes of the quota to account for other sources of mortality, including that from

recreational fishing.

The total catch in the fishery, for the 2019-20 fishing season, was 6,324 tonnes. This

exceeded the effective total allowable catch by approximately 41 tonnes. Australia

committed to reducing the total allowable catch for the following season by the same

amount.

Concession holders in the ranching sector of the fishery took approximately 88 per cent of

the catch. The remaining catch was taken by longline vessels working primarily off the New

South Wales south coast.

During 2019-20, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment contracted a

major survey to quantify recreational fishing catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna so that

arrangements could be made to account for that catch against Australia’s national allocation.

The survey found that approximately 270 tonnes were caught by recreational fishers in

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

58

December 2018 - November 2019. In response, the Australian Government has

determined that 5 per cent of Australia’s national allocation will be set aside to cover

recreational catch in the future and AFMA is now implementing that decision.

Performance - status of fish stocks

The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna management procedure

specifies that a full quantitative stock assessment should be undertaken every three years.

The 2017 stock assessment suggested that the stock remains at a low state, estimated to be

13 per cent of the initial spawning stock biomass, and below the level to produce maximum

sustainable yield.

The 2019 Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Extended Scientific

Committee meeting advised that the 2019 reconditioned operating models suggest that the

spawning stock biomass in 2018 was 17 per cent of the initial biomass (15-21 per cent), up

from an historic low of 5 per cent in 2009. A full stock assessment will be undertaken in

2020.

Internationally, the management procedure is considered a success in that it has been

instrumental in addressing the previous sharp decline in the stock and facilitating recovery

towards agreed targets.

Performance - economic returns

The majority of the southern bluefin tuna total allowable catch continues to be taken by the

purse seine sector in South Australia, for subsequent grow out by the ranching sector.

Historically the purse seine catch was taken in the Great Australian Bight south of Ceduna.

However, in recent years the majority of the catch has been taken in areas to the east of

Kangaroo Island. As these areas are closer to the aquaculture zone in Port Lincoln, the time

the fish spend in the tow cage before transfer to farms has been reduced.

The amount of fish taken by longliners on the east coast depends primarily on access to

available quota from the ranching sector and the seasonal availability of fish, but was also

heavily influenced in mid-2020 by extremely high freight costs and decreased international

demand as a result of COVID-19. In the 2018-19 fishing season 783 tonnes was caught

compared to 1,034 tonnes in the previous season.

External Reviews

A management procedure is a pre-agreed set of rules that can specify changes to the total

allowable catch based on updated monitoring data. In 2011 the Commission for the

Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna adopted a management procedure to guide its global

total allowable catch setting. The current management procedure is tuned to a 70 per cent

probability of rebuilding the stock to the interim rebuilding target reference point of 20 per

cent of the original spawning stock biomass by 2035.

The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna has agreed a new

management procedure to guide the setting of total allowable catches from 2021. The new

management procedure is tuned to rebuilding the stock to a target reference point of 30 per

cent of the original spawning stock biomass by 2035, an increase over the original 20 per

cent biomass.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 59

Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Estimated catch: 179 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific

name)

Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus

albacares)

Subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Striped marlin (Kajikia audax) Subject to

overfishing

Overfished Subject to

overfishing

Overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The fishery continued to be managed in accordance with the Western Tuna and Billfish

Fishery Management Plan 2005 and resolutions mandated by the Indian Ocean Tuna

Commission (IOTC) of which Australia is a member.

The performance criteria detailed in the fishery management plan were all met in 2019-20.

Analysis of Performance

Status of fish stocks

The Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery has continued to operate at low levels of effort,

largely due to economic conditions. In 2019-20, catch levels for the main target species

were slightly lower than 2018-19 due to a reduction in vessel numbers for part of the year.

Domestically, the total allowable commercial catches for all the key commercial species are

currently considered to be appropriate and of no concern to the regional stock status.

However, the Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery target species are managed internationally

and there are concerns regarding the stock status of striped marlin and yellowfin tuna. Both

are considered to be overfished and subject to overfishing within the wider Indian Ocean.

Updated stock assessments for both striped marlin and yellowfin tuna were completed in

2018.

AFMA cooperates with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to

encourage IOTC to implement robust catch controls and country-specific allocations to

rebuild overfished stocks and manage all stocks into the future.

Fishery management arrangements

Since July 2015 active boats in the Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery have been required to

have electronic monitoring - a system of cameras and sensors installed to monitor all fishing

operations. Footage is recorded when fishing operations are occurring to verify logbook

records. All fishing operations on active boats are now monitored, with 10 per cent of all

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

60

longline shots (minimum of one shot per boat, per month) reviewed and compared to the

logbook reports. Regular feedback reports are provided to Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery

operators to inform them of their reporting performance. Since the implementation of

electronic monitoring, preliminary analysis has indicated an improvement in logbook

reporting. Improved logbook reporting in fisheries with electronic monitoring has enabled us

to make better risk assessments and better focus resources to minimise the impact of fishing

on the marine environment. AFMA continues to monitor protected species interactions in the

fishery but these occur at a very low level, in part due to the low level of fishing effort.

External Reviews

No external reviews were completed during 2019-20.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 61

Heard Island and

McDonald Islands Fishery

Estimated catch:

3,144 tonnes

(Patagonian toothfish)

443 tonnes

(Mackerel icefish)

Stock Status of Target Species

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery is managed in accordance with the Heard

Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management Plan 2002 and the conservation

measures mandated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living

Resources. All operations conducted in the fishery were compliant with the performance

criteria outlined in the management plan. As at June 2020 four boats operated in the fishery

during 2019-20. Three of these boats longlined and one boat both trawled and longlined.

There were no changes to the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management

Plan 2002 during 2019-20.

Analysis of Performance

Performance - status of fish stocks

In November 2019, the AFMA Commission set the Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Fishery total allowable catch at 3,030 tonnes for Patagonian toothfish and 527 tonnes for

Mackerel icefish for the 2019-20 fishing year. Commissioners recognised that the total

allowable catch had also been agreed to by the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic

Marine Living Resources (to which Australia is a member), and that this catch limit is not

expected to unreasonably impact on long term sustainability of Patagonian toothfish stocks.

The Sub-Antarctic Resource Assessment Group and Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory

Committee also supported the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery total allowable

catches for the 2019-20 fishing year.

Performance - status of bycatch

The core longline fishing season extends from 1 May to 14 September. In 2019, longlining

was permitted from 1 April 2019 to 30 November 2019 with additional seabird measures

applying to the periods outside the core longline season. Strict rules are in place around

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus

gunnari)

Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus

eleginoides)

Not subject

to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not subject to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

62

interactions with seabirds during the autumn and spring extension periods, when seabird

activity is known to increase around Heard Island and McDonald Islands. If three or more

seabirds are caught and killed by fishing gear during the extension periods, that vessel can

no longer fish by longline in the extension periods. One boat triggered this provision in

2019-20.

Bycatch is generally low in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery and catch limits

were not exceeded in 2019-20.

External Reviews

Management of the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery is reviewed internationally

by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic and Marine Living Resources meet each year

and, among other things, considers catch limits and bycatch management for the Heard

Island and McDonald Islands Fishery.

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery stock assessment for Patagonian toothfish

is considered and endorsed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine

Living Resources. The management of the fishery is certified as sustainable by the Marine

Stewardship Council. A surveillance audit was conducted in April 2020 and confirmed the

fishery continues to meet the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 63

High Sea Permits

Estimated catch: 213 tonnes

Major species:

• Redthroat emperor

• Hapuku

• Flame snapper

• Sea bream snapper

• Jackass morwong

• Bass groper

• Yellowtail kingfish

• Blue-eye trevalla

• Alfonsino

• Orange Roughy

Management Plans/Arrangements

High Seas Permits allow Australian flagged vessels to fish for non-highly migratory species

in the areas of water covered under the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management

Organisation (SPRFMO) and the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA).

High Seas Permits are granted for up to five years, with a season running from 1 January to

31 December. There are currently seven High Seas Permits. Seven vessels are permitted to

fish in the SPFRMO area and six vessels are permitted to fish in the SIOFA area. The main

gears used by High Seas Permit holders are midwater trawl, demersal trawl and automatic

longline (demersal longline).

In 2019-20, a number of amendments to SPRFMO and SIOFA conservation and

management measures (CMMs) were adopted. These amendments were implemented

domestically through changes to permit conditions in May 2020. With regards to SPRFMO,

some bycatch limits were reduced (CMM 03-2020 Bottom Fishing in the SPRFMO

Convention Area) and the orange roughy catch limit for Westpac Bank was increased by

4 tonnes to 13 tonnes (CMM 03a-2020 Deepwater Species in the SPRFMO Convention

Area). With regards to SIOFA, seabird mitigation requirements were revised to enable

implementation of three seabird night setting trigger (SIOFA CMM 2019/13 Mitigation of

Seabird Bycatch) and move-on provisions were added for dropline fishing (SIOFA CMM

2019/01 Interim Management of Bottom Fishing).

Analysis of Performance

High Seas Permits continue to be managed consistent with SPRFMO and SIOFA CMMs.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

64

Non-operational fisheries

Commercial operators did not operate in the following Commonwealth fisheries during

2019-20.

Norfolk Island Fishery

The Norfolk Island Inshore Fishery and the Norfolk Island Offshore Demersal Finfish Fishery

do not have formal management plans and there are no current commercial fishing

concessions. Through a Memorandum of Understanding with AFMA, the Norfolk Island

Inshore Fishery is managed by the Norfolk Island Regional Council in accordance with the

Norfolk Island Inshore Fishery Policy 2009.

In 2018, AFMA and the Norfolk Island Fishing Association, in collaboration with the Norfolk

Island Regional Council, commenced a review of the Policy that is still ongoing.

No stock assessments or biomass estimates for species taken within the Norfolk Island

fisheries have been made. No stock status classifications have been given to this fishery as

there are no defined stocks for management purposes.

Skipjack Tuna Fishery

Stock status of target species

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

The fishery is managed in accordance with the Skipjack Tuna Harvest Strategy, the

statement of fishery management arrangements and fishing concession conditions.

There has been little or no annual effort in the fishery since 2008 for economic reasons.

There were no new management arrangements implemented in the fishery in 2018-19.

There are 19 Eastern Skipjack Tuna Fishery permits and 14 Western Skipjack Tuna Fishery

permits, however no Australian vessels are currently targeting skipjack tuna.

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Indian Ocean skipjack tuna

(Katsuwonus

pelamis)

Western and Central Pacific Ocean

skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Not subject

to

overfishing

Not subject

to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not

overfished

Not subject

to

overfishing

Not subject

to

overfishing

Not

overfished

Not

overfished

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 3: FISHERY REPORTS • 65

Southern Tasman Rise Fishery

Stock status of target species

Common name (scientific name) Latest available status assessment

2018 2019

Fishing

mortality

Biomass Fishing

mortality

Biomass

Orange roughy (Hoplostethus

atlanticus)

Not subject

to

overfishing

Overfished Not subject

to

overfishing

Overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020, Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

The South Tasman Rise Fishery forms part of Australia's fishing footprint under the South

Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation but has been closed to fishing since

2007. The area is also subject to a memorandum of understanding for cooperative

management between Australia and New Zealand established in 1998. New Zealand has

not fished the South Tasman Rise since the end of the 2000-01 fishing season.

The South Tasman Rise orange roughy stock is the only high-seas stock that has been

assigned a status classification by ABARES. Insufficient information is available to enable

the fishery wide determination of stock status for any of the high-seas demersal fish stocks

in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation and the Southern Indian

Ocean Fisheries Agreement areas of competence.

A number of stock assessments were undertaken for orange roughy stocks in the South

Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation and the Southern Indian Ocean

Fisheries Agreement area of competence. These assessments have been accepted by both

regional fisheries management organisations. Catch limits were introduced for orange

roughy in South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation in early 2019 and

limits for Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement will be introduced in late 2019.

Atlas Cove Southern Ocean

Photo courtesy AFMA

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

66

FEATURE STORY: Observer Program Work

Health and Safety Activities

AFMA’s Observer Program consists of sixteen active observers and four support staff. The

program provides fundamental scientific monitoring services to Commonwealth fisheries.

Data collected by the observers, particularly the biological data such as otoliths, sex and

length data, is used in stock assessments which underpin the assessment of sustainable

fisheries. Our observers also support Australia’s ability to meet international monitoring

obligations, for example in the Southern Ocean.

As a part of AFMA’s continual improvement, an external review of the observer program was

undertaken in 2018. Key recommendations from that review related to the work, health and

safety aspects of the observer program. Specifically the review recommended updating the

risk register and associated training plan and the development of a Health and Safety Plan.

To ensure the safety of AFMA’s observers, we sought the expertise of a work health and

safety specialist to undertake the work during 2019-20.

A partnership approach was established with the observers engaged with the risk specialist

throughout the review process resulting in a thorough description of the work environment.

This assisted in underpinning the understanding of the risks and therefore the mitigation

strategies. The collaboration also enabled the identification of additional risks such as

observers undertaking at-sea transfers between vessels or responding and providing

training for emergencies.

As a consequence, use of the new risk register and associated training plan and the new

Health and Safety Plan resulted in additional training and support for observers including:

• Completion of SeSAFE Training to raise awareness and improve safety performance in

the fishing and aquaculture industry with training about the hazards associated with

working on fishing vessels.

• Provision of additional safety equipment including Personal Flotation Devices and

direction equipment and personal Radio Locator beacons (EPIRBs) to be worn at all

times while when on deck.

• Consideration of materials that will assist with and training that simulates escaping a

capsized fishing vessel.

Observer Pat Ward looking at long line

Photo courtesy AFMA

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 5: FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE REPORTS AND STATEMENTS • 67

PART 4 MANAGEMENT AND

ACCOUNTABILITY

Corporate governance

Governing Body

AFMA as a non-corporate statutory body forms part of the Commonwealth government. It is

governed by a Commission which is responsible for exercising functions and powers in

relation to domestic fisheries management. The CEO is responsible for assisting the

Commission, in giving effect to its decisions. In addition the CEO is separately responsible

for exercising AFMA's foreign compliance functions and powers, and for functions under the

Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984.

The Commission is subject to limited government policy direction as stated in section 91 of

the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.

The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management appoints the

chairperson, part-time commissioners and the CEO. Following advice from the chairperson,

the minister appoints a part-time commissioner as deputy-chairperson. The minister is also

the approving authority for AFMA's Corporate Plan, Annual Operational Plan and all Fishery

Management Plans determined by AFMA. Some or all duties of the Minister are typically

delegated to the Assistant Minster for Forestry and Fisheries.

The CEO is the Accountable Authority under the Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Act 2013 as well as the Agency Head under the Public Service Act 1999 and

is also appointed as an AFMA Commissioner.

The CEO is subject to Ministerial Direction with regard to the Authority's foreign compliance

functions, and under the Public Service Act 1999 is required to be responsive to government

in implementing the government's policies and programs.

For more information about AFMA's Commissioners, see Appendix 1 to this report.

Disclosure of interests

Commissioners must disclose to the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency

Management any pecuniary or other interest that may relate to their AFMA functions, both

prior to appointment and if such interests arise during their terms of office. Disclosures of

interests are kept on a register of interests held by AFMA's Executive Secretary. Where a

Commissioner declares they have an interest in a matter under consideration by the

Commission it will initiate procedures to safeguard the integrity of the Commission's

decisions.

Performance review

The Commission conducts a simple review of its performance at each Commission meeting.

These documented reviews address the effectiveness of the Commission in its decision

making, corporate governance and maintenance of stakeholder relationships. With the

commencement of a new Commission in July 2019, AFMA has taken the opportunity to seek

views from industry bodies as to how the Commission could strengthen its stakeholder

engagement.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

68

Internal Scrutiny

AFMA strives to achieve governance arrangements, together with the associated systems

and processes used, that are best practice. To this end we utilise internal audits as an

essential tool to independently identify any deficiencies in these processes and control

systems whilst at the same time providing opportunities to deliver better practices that will

improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness and transparency of our management and

regulatory arrangements.

During the reporting period the Strategic Internal Audit Plan for 2017-19 was finalised.

BellchambersBarrett were re-appointed as internal auditors for three years commencing in

January 2020. The internal auditor in collaboration with AFMA Management and the AFMA

Audit and Risk Committee established a Strategic Internal Audit Plan for 2020-22. The

Strategic Internal Audit Plan outlines the intended audits that will be conducted over the

three year period. These proposed audits are intended to address high level risks that have

been identified as part of our Risk Management Framework.

Drawing on the 2017-19 and 2020-22 plans, the independent auditor completed or

commenced the following four audits during 2019-20 on the following areas of AFMA's

business operations:

Observers’ Program performance audit

This audit focused on reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the AFMA Observer

Program including compliance with key risk areas of the AFMA Observers Program Manual;

trip planning and logistics arrangements including travel and accommodation arrangements

and provision of required equipment; and, the timely and accurate completion of financial

acquittal processes.

Review of the implementation of the ICT Strategic Plan audit

This audit focused on assessing the strength and maturity of the control framework

established by AFMA to manage ICT risks and security. This included assessing AFMA’s

implemented controls against the requirements of the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s

Essential Eight mitigating strategies for the prevention of cyber intrusion; and the

effectiveness of AFMA’s ICT change management framework.

AFMA Training Review

The focus of this audit was to review the management of mandatory training across AFMA.

This included assessing how AFMA’s mandatory training is identified, the extent to which

mandatory training is monitored and the follow-up actions undertaken for staff who have not

completed mandatory training.

Annual Performance Statements quality assurance

This audit focused on reviewing the accuracy and validity of information supporting the

AFMA 2018-19 and 2019-20 performance report. Additionally, the audit assessed progress

achieved relating to the four audit recommendations made in the 2019 AFMA Performance

Statement internal audit.

AFMA Management has endorsed and implemented the majority of the recommendations

from these audits. Work on outstanding endorsed recommendations will be undertaken

during 2020-21 and monitored by the AFMA Audit and Risk Committee.

We have also established a number of standing committees which provide oversight and

governance over our other key business operational activities.

These committees include:

• Strategic Delivery Committee - oversees the delivery of all key project works that

directly align with AFMA's Strategic goals and/or Annual Operational Plan objectives.

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• Data and Information Management Committee - provides a strategic approach to

managing data, information and records to reduce business risk, increase

accountability, and improve operational efficiencies.

• Security Governance Committee - reviews and monitors AFMA's security governance

arrangements against the security threats and vulnerabilities identified by the Australian

government and faced by AFMA in delivering its objectives.

• Risk Management Committee - provides oversight from a cross-agency perspective

on the management and control of AFMA's business risks and to support the

implementation of the agencies risk management framework.

The CEO, as required under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013, has maintained the Audit and Risk Committee to also provide independent internal

scrutiny of AFMA business operations. Further details of these committees are provided in

Appendix 1.

External Scrutiny

AFMA's financial statements are audited annually by the Australian National Audit Office (the

Audit Office). The Audit Office examines the strength of our internal controls to obtain

reasonable assurance as to whether our annual financial statements as a whole are free

from material misstatement. The results of their audit are presented in their report on the

financial statements accessible in Part 5 of this report.

The Audit Office retains an understanding of our business, the environment in which we

operate, our objectives and strategies and internal controls. This includes acquiring an

understanding of the information systems and related business processes relevant to our

financial reporting objectives (including the accounting system) and how we have responded

to any related financial reporting risks. Relevant Audit Office performance audits or internal

audit activity are considered as part of this process.

Our performance is also subject to review through the Senate Estimates process. Parliament

may also review and disallow legislative instruments proposed by AFMA as part of its

delegated functions.

In 2019-20, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Audit Office did not release any reports

that involved AFMA or that had, or might have, a significant impact on AFMA’s operations.

There were no civil litigation outcomes during 2019-20.

Corporate Planning and Reporting

AFMA's Planning and Reporting Framework is consistent with the obligations under the

Fisheries Administration Act 1991, whole-of-government requirements under the Public

Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Public Governance,

Performance and Accountability Rule 2014. These obligations together with our own internal

documents support effective governance. The key elements are:

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Performance monitoring

We prepare three planning documents and a performance reporting document each year. In

addition, we undertake an annual self-assessment of our regulatory operations and

performance. Monitoring progress and accountability for delivering outputs is a key

responsibility for all our staff. Individual performance agreements and reviews of periodic

reports by managers, committees, Senior Executives, the Commission and stakeholders all

help ensure that we remain on target. Each quarter the AFMA Commission receives a report

on progress against the strategic actions contained in the Annual Operational Plan for 2019-

20.

Section Plans

Every business unit within AFMA is required to develop section plans. These plans ensure

that business activity across the agency is both coordinated and focused on delivering

directly to our objectives as outlined in our Annual Operational Plan. These plans form the

basis of allocating resources to the various business activities and/or specific projects that

directly support the outcomes of the Annual Operational Plan. The section plans also inform

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individual staff performance plans against which our staff are assessed throughout the

reporting period in accordance with our performance development scheme.

Risk

The AFMA Risk Management Framework incorporates a Risk Management Policy and Risk

Management Guidelines that are consistent with the Commonwealth Risk Management

Policy and international standards (ISO 31000:2018).

To support the framework, AFMA has developed a statement of Risk Appetite. This internal

document was developed to support staff in assessing and monitoring risks. The Risk

Appetite Statement articulates AFMA’s position with regards to specific risk categories.

The framework is aligned with our corporate goals to ensure all our staff remain focused on

achieving those goals while managing the identified risks associated with them. This

approach ensures that our staff at all levels of the agency are responsible for participating in

risk management processes. It also delivers cost-efficient fisheries management by allowing

our managers to make informed decisions and assign resources effectively.

Oversight of risk management activities is provided by the AFMA Audit and Risk Committee

who provide independent external advice to the AFMA CEO and the Risk Management

Committee which is comprised of representatives from across AFMA. AFMA supports staff

to manage risk by providing tools and advice on risk management practices.

We maintain operational, enterprise and strategic risk monitoring and reporting processes in

accordance with our Risk Management Policy and Risk Management Guidelines.

AFMA's Risk Management Framework assists in the identification, management and

escalation of operational risks and a consolidated view of entity risks at the Enterprise and

Strategic levels.

Our Risk Management Framework incorporates reporting, assessment and business

process; aligned with both the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and relevant

standards.

During 2019, a body of work was undertaken to review and update AFMA’s Risk

Management Framework to align with ISO 31000 (2018). This work included review and

update of Operational and Strategic Risk Registers and convening the Risk Management

Committee.

Key organisational risks are detailed in the Enterprise and Strategic Risk registers, and

include staff safety and well-being, cybersecurity as well as strategic risks in relation to

fisheries management and compliance.

In 2020, AFMA has maintained a strong focus on managing the impact of COVID-19 on our

business operations, strategic planning and organisational risk profile. The safety and well-

being of staff is a priority and AFMA will continue to monitor these risks and the implications

for our staff, business operations and stakeholders in 2020-21.

AFMA's risk management process is illustrated below:

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Business Continuity

AFMA's Business Continuity Plan is a living document and requires updating after each

walkthrough, bench or live exercise to incorporate the results of these activities. The Plan

provides guidance to AFMA Management in establishing alternative arrangements and

enables the priority allocation of resources to critical business processes to ensure that we

are able to continue to function effectively during and following a significant disruption.

The Plan includes emergency contacts, cyclone response procedures for our Darwin and

Thursday Island offices and information and communications technology disaster recovery

protocols. The Business Continuity Plan includes procedures for all phases of recovery as

defined in the Business Continuity Strategy document. This plan is separate from AFMA ICT

Disaster Recovery Plan, which focuses on the recovery of our technology facilities and

platforms, such as critical applications, databases, servers or other required technology

infrastructure. The Business Continuity Plan is tested, reviewed and updated annually, and

monitored by the AFMA Audit and Risk Committee.

The Business Continuity Plan (supplemented by our Pandemic Response Plan) was

implemented on several occasions in 2019-20 in response to a cyclone alert in (Darwin),

bushfire impacting our staff in the Canberra and Lakes Entrance office and the COVID-19

pandemic impacting or service delivery across all of our offices.

Fraud Control

The AFMA Fraud Control Framework addresses internal fraud perpetrated within AFMA.

The AFMA Fraud Policy applies to all our staff (and contractors) and outlines our zero

tolerance policy. We have in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and

reporting procedures that meet the specific needs of the organisation. These mechanisms

and procedures are regularly tested to ensure that they remain relevant and fit for purpose

for AFMA.

Both the revised Fraud Policy and Fraud Control Plan meet AFMA's requirements under

section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014. To support

the system of internal control, AFMA recognises the importance of being vigilant in relation

to fraud risk and communicate expectations of fraud awareness and prevention to all our

staff.

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The Fraud Policy does not apply to fraud committed by parties external to AFMA, such as

domestic or foreign fishers operating in the AFZ. The investigation of such fraud is

undertaken by investigating officials within our Fisheries Operations Branch, or in some

cases the Australian Federal Police. Please refer to Part 2, Section 3 on page 20 for further

information.

Project Management Framework

AFMA's Strategic Delivery Framework supports the planning and delivery of key projects

across the organisation. The framework has been developed to support improved

governance and oversight of all key projects required to be delivered to meet AFMA’s

Annual Operational and/or Corporate Plans. The framework provides increased accuracy in

allocating, resourcing and managing project deliverables.

The Strategic Delivery Committee, made up of AFMA's Executive, oversees the delivery of

relevant key project work. Major projects reviewed by the Strategic Delivery Committee in

2019-20 included development and implementation of the AFMA ICT Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Delivery Framework provides defined project management processes,

coordination and systematic reporting. For further information on the Strategic Delivery

Committee see Appendix 1.

Data and Information Management

During 2019-20 the Technology and Digital Services (TDS) team finalised the outcomes of

the ICT Strategy surrounding four key programs including,

• Reliable Business Systems - reducing the work required to maintain and support old

applications and infrastructure, and better utilise TDS resources.

• Mobility and Flexibility - enabling our staff to be mobile, enabling them to work more

collaboratively across our various offices and remotely in the field, both nationally and

internationally.

• Improved Business Engagement - supporting our business areas through an

effective service delivery model that meets operating needs.

• Data and Client Services - harnessing the value of data and analytics by implementing

a modern architecture and leveraging innovative technology, in the pursuit of enhanced

service delivery for us and our clients.

The delivery of the ICT Strategy initiatives have been instrumental during COVID-19,

providing AFMA staff with modern and robust technology to work remotely with confidence,

security and convenience.

The TDS team continued to review and enhance our cyber security posture in this ever

changing environment and partnered with the Australian Cyber Security Centre in mitigating

various cyber threats. Through this continued effort AFMA is confident in the safeguards we

have applied in protecting our key assets.

Finalising these key technology outcomes provided the team with the opportunity to continue

in the delivery of our data initiatives, and in particular, the continued delivery of the e-Fish

project which was completed in June 2020, and subsequently continuing an internal project

to digitise the capture of key external data, such as logbook and catch disposal records.

Extending on the success of a pilot, the Agency Data Capture project saw the development

of a suite of Application Programming Interfaces (APS) to effectively capture and share key

data externally and into the AFMA IT architecture. The project also demonstrated how this

platform can be used for enterprise wide data purposes, and successfully integrated with the

vessel monitoring provider Trackwell and the Department of Home Affairs - further proving

the simplicity on how this modern technology will allow AFMA to continue future data

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partnerships. Further information on the Agency Data Capture project is detailed in the

Feature Story on page 33.

With AFMA well placed to pursue its data exchange initiatives with an advanced

technological data sharing platform the team commenced activities to deliver an AFMA Data

Strategy to ensure we strategically consider how to leverage the power of the ADC platform.

In April 2020 AFMA engaged a consultant to commence the Data Strategy initiative which is

being developed in 2 phases. The first phase being a “discovery” phase which will document

what benefit a Data Strategy will bring to AFMA, what a tailored strategy will encompass,

and finally how the strategy can be utilised and won’t be limited in its shelf life. Following the

sign off from these milestones, phase 2 will then proceed to strategy development. This

approach is being utilised to ensure AFMA gets the best value out of a data strategy artefact

which sets a solid direction with tangible and accountable roadmap initiatives for AFMA to

deliver in our pursuit to harness the power of our data.

Audit and Risk Committee

AFMA's Audit and Risk Committee provides independent assurance and advice to the CEO

on AFMA's financial reporting, performance monitoring, systems of risk oversight and

management and systems of internal control. The Committee's role in reviewing AFMA's

treatment of strategic risks is also directly relevant to the work of the AFMA Commission. For

further information on the Audit and Risk Committee see Appendix 1.

Compliance with Finance Law

In accordance with paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Act 2013, AFMA must include a statement in the annual report on any

significant issues reported to the responsible minister that relate to non-compliance with the

finance law in relation to the entity. If such a statement has been included in the annual

report, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 also requires the

annual report to include an outline of the actions taken to remedy the non-compliance.

AFMA's review of compliance for 2019-20 with finance law (the Public Governance,

Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and associated rules and instruments) indicates

that there are no significant matters that warrant reporting to the minister.

Purchasing

During 2019-20 AFMA maintained a strong push on improved performance with respect to

our responsibilities under the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Our staff are kept well

informed of any changes in procurement rules through our internal communication such as

intranet news stories, revised templates and targeted training sessions.

Our approach to procurement and contract management is based on a self-service model

enabling our staff at all levels within the organisation to undertake procurement and contract

management activities within a clearly defined framework.

The relevant policies, procedures, tools and process maps are all easily accessible on our

intranet for our staff to utilise. Importantly, training in procurement and contract management

was delivered to all Executive Level staff across the organisation. To further support

procurement and contract management capabilities within AFMA, a Community of Practice

has been fostered so that experience can be shared with all our staff across the agency.

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PART 5: FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE REPORTS AND STATEMENTS • 75

Contracts

Australian National Audit Office Access clauses

All contracts valued at $100 000 or more (GST inclusive) let during the year provided for the

Auditor-General to have access to the contractor's premises.

Exempt Contracts

The CEO did not exempt any contracts let during 2019-20 from being published on

AusTender on the basis that publication would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom

of Information Act 1982.

Advertising Campaigns

AFMA did not conduct any advertising campaigns during the year.

Discretionary Grants

AFMA did not administer any grants during the year.

AFMA’s environmental footprint

Consistent with our legislative objectives, AFMA promotes a clean and green operating

environment when conducting its business operations to minimise our impact on the

environment. To achieve this we are continually reviewing our operational activities to look

for opportunities to minimise waste and limit the impact of our environmental footprint.

Demonstrating this commitment, in selecting our new Canberra office in 2018, we chose a

building engineered to include significant measures to enhance its environmental

performance. The building uses tri-generation technology, black water recycling, rain water

collection and solar powered hot water as well as being modelled to exceed a 4.5 star

NABERS energy rating when fully occupied. The Canberra Office is certified as a 5 Star

Green Star building and registered with the Green Building Council of Australia. Our Darwin

office also has a 5.5 star National Australian Built Environment Rating System energy rating

and a five Star Green star rating.

In addition all our offices include zoned air-conditioning and lighting and automatic light

dimming in response to daylight sensors. Additionally, intermittently used rooms and spaces

are motion sensor activated to reduce energy consumption. AFMA also participates in Earth

Hour annually.

We currently purchase approximately 25 per cent of green electricity for our Canberra office

as part of the Commonwealth energy contract, and our Thursday Island office utilises a

mixture of wind and diesel power. We continue to review and implement regular energy

improvements across our Canberra, Darwin, Lakes Entrance and Thursday Island sites. This

has included purchasing more energy efficient equipment when required.

AFMA currently uses 100 per cent recycled paper in printers and copiers at all AFMA sites.

In addition we make use of portable technology for staff to access documents via portable

devices such as iPads and laptop computers to further reduce the reliance on paper

documents, in line with the Commonwealth's Digital 2020 Policy. AFMA has issued mobile

devices to all staff in the form of new laptop computers and associated Standard Operating

Environments in line with AFMA's ICT Strategic Plan that supports and enhances our

organisational capability and functionality as well as improves flexible working arrangements

for our staff.

Nationwide AFMA leases four motor vehicles. We have changed our internal policy allowing

staff to use our energy efficient vehicles on more extended trips. As these leases fall due for

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renewal we will look for more energy efficient vehicles including the utilisation of Vehicle

Telematics, a comprehensive reporting suite that captures daily activity, mileage, odometer

and unauthorised vehicle use.

Our continued commitment to reducing our impact on the environment also extends to

reducing our staff's general office waste through implementing a composting and

commingled recycling system in place for our Canberra office.

People Management

Employment Profile

As at 30 June 2020, AFMA employed 152 employees (based on head count): 135 were

ongoing and 17 were non-ongoing employees. These numbers do not include three

employees on long-term leave.

The agency had 103 employees located in Canberra, 18 employees located in Darwin, eight

employees in Thursday Island and six in Lakes Entrance. A further 17 staff were engaged as

casual field observers who undertake duties on Commonwealth commercial fishing vessels,

located around Australia.

AFMA’s employment profile has not significantly changed from 2018-19. The proportion of

part-time employees (excluding casual observers) has decreased slightly to 8 per cent in

2019-20 compared to 9.3 per cent in 2018-19.

The proportion of females has increased to 44.7 per cent from 40.9 per cent in the previous

financial year. The percentage of women at EL1-EL2 levels for 2019-20 has increased to

43.2 per cent from 37.0 per cent in the previous year.

There has been a slight decrease in the number of employees from non-English speaking

backgrounds with five employees in 2019-20, down from six in 2018-19.

As a comparison with the 2018-19 financial year, the number of employees who have at

least one parent from a non-English speaking background has remained at 25 with the

number of employees identifying as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decreasing

slightly from eight to seven. In addition, employees who identified themselves as having a

disability increased slightly to three in 2019-20, up from one in 2018-19.

Tables 3 - 6 on pages 80-82 outline workforce statistics by employment status, location,

gender, diversity, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity. It also sets out

salary range and employment arrangements.

COVID-19

AFMA acted promptly to ensure our employees were informed and supported as a result of

the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s many impacts. This work included:

• establishing a Pandemic Incident Management Team

• undertaking virtual WHS assessments for all home workstations and working closely

with employees to ensure modifications were made to create a safe workstation

• creating key documents relating to procedures for suspected and confirmed cases of

COVID-19, home based work during a pandemic and leave arrangements during

COVID-19

• establishing a dedicated COVID-19 intranet portal to ensure clear communication to

staff

• regular messaging via the intranet - including promotion of the Employee Assistance

Program service

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• establishing a social channel Campfire on the intranet to support staff during isolation

• establishing an online learning and development catalogue to assist staff in continuing

their training and professional development.

Staff Engagement

In June 2019, 75 per cent of AFMA’s employees completed the government wide Australian

Public Service Employee Census. The results indicated that employees were less satisfied

and generally less positive towards AFMA as a workplace of choice than previous year’s

results. The results came from a year of significant change across the organisation including

departure of two long term senior executives, new functions in Torres Strait fisheries, new

office environment and physical restructure of the workspace to be activity based working

arrangements, changes to access and manage classified information and a move to digital

records.

While the results were generally down from previous years, there were some positive and

improved results in the mix, such as employee commitment to innovation and indicators that

staff have good relationships with their immediate supervisors.

These discussions and opportunities for staff input have identified a wide-ranging body of

remedial action that is being progressed on an opportunistic basis, and help to instil a

shared responsibility for resolution. Some specific actions already undertaken include:

• addressing a number of specific physical sources of dissatisfaction with the new office in

Canberra

• improved attention to cultural sensitivity and diversity

• ongoing reviews of corporate policies, particularly in relation to staff wellbeing, health

and safety

• dedicated effort to more open communication from the Executive on census issues and

more generally on issues important to the agency

• promotion of social activities within and outside of the workplace

• greater efforts to document corporate decision making to ensure consistency across

branches, teams and individuals

• working with managers throughout the organisation so that they are equipped with the

skills required to ensure that they provide adequate focus to their corporate

responsibilities as well as their technical duties.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

AFMA’s Enterprise Agreement 2016

AFMA’s Enterprise Agreement 2016 contains employment terms and conditions for all

employees (excluding Senior Executive Service Officers). A Section 24(1) Determination

was made on 2 April 2019 which provides details of increases to existing salaries and

allowance effective on 23 June 2019, 23 June 2020 and 23 June 2021.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the government made the decision that all Australia Public

Service scheduled pay increases would be paused for a period of six months from the date

the next percentage increase was due to take effect. As a result the 2% pay increase of 23

June 2020 for AFMA staff will be made on 23 December 2020, subject to further direction

from the Australia Public Service Commission.

Individual Flexibility Agreements

AFMA’s Enterprise Agreement 2016 provides for the CEO and an employee covered by the

agreement, to enter into an individual flexibility agreement. The terms of employment that

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may be varied under the Enterprise Agreement include (but are not limited to) hours of work,

overtime rates, penalty rates, allowances, remuneration and leave.

AFMA entered into 29 individual flexibility agreements for 27 employees during 2019-20 as

outlined in the table below and of these, two employees entered into multiple agreements

therefore the number of agreements is higher than the number of employees.

Table 2: Individual Flexibility Agreements as at 30 June 2020

Classification Number

APS 1 0

APS 2 1

APS 3 0

APS 4 2

APS 5 3

APS 6 10

EL1 8

EL2 5

Standards of Behaviour

Ethical Standards

All AFMA staff are required to comply with the APS Values and Code of Conduct as set out

in the Public Service Act 1999. AFMA employees are expected to maintain the highest

standards of business and personal ethics. The agency has in place compulsory annual

training, staff policies and guidelines to help staff to understand their obligations and support

good workplace behaviour. The annual on-line training during 2019-20 included APS Values

and Principles, Bullying and Harassment, Work Health and Safety and Fraud Awareness.

Performance Management

The work that all AFMA employees do is crucial to the achievement of the agency’s goals.

AFMA’s performance management scheme is a collaborative, ongoing process between a

manager and their employee/s and that all employees are required to participate in.

The performance cycle ensures that:

• our staff know what is expected of them

• individuals and AFMA goals are aligned

• our staff receive ongoing feedback and improvement advice

• our staff identify, plan and deliver on areas for individual learning, capability and career

development.

The aim of our performance management scheme is to ensure all of our staff have the right

tools and processes to help meet key deliverables. The scheme is also an important tool to

ensure that underperformance is identified early so it can be addressed quickly and

effectively.

Rewards and Recognition

AFMA recognises that building a culture that values its employees and recognises

performance is critical to retaining the best people. The annual AFMA Achievement Awards

recognise individual and team achievements throughout the year. Nominations are sought

from employees and the recipients agreed by the AFMA Executive team. The 2019 awards

were presented in December by the AFMA CEO:

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PART 5: FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE REPORTS AND STATEMENTS • 79

• Tamre Sarhan: Individual Achievement Award in recognition of his strong leadership,

vision, team spirit and personal drive as the Observer Program Coordinator

• The Majura Park Relocation Project Team: Team Achievement Award for their

dedication and commitment in ensuring the relocation to Majura Park was successfully

completed within scope, on time and within budget

• Alison Hayes: Good Citizenship Award for exemplifying corporate citizenship within

AFMA

• Daniel Corrie: Collaborating and Mentoring Award in recognition of his professionalism

and willingness to collaborate with staff across AFMA

• Andrew Trappett: Innovation Award for his innovation in the way AFMA engages with

government agencies, the commercial fishing industry and small island communities

across the Torres Strait

• Nikos Manikas: Unsung Hero Award in recognition for his enthusiasm and willingness

to help others with IT issues

• Selvy Coundjidapadam: Unsung Hero Award in recognition of her commitment to

assisting AFMA employees and external stakeholders with data collection and

interpretation

At the ceremony, AFMA also provided ten-year service pins to six employees. One

employee received a twenty-year service plaque.

Professional Development

AFMA continued to invest in the ongoing professional development of its employees in order

to build a high performance organisation. AFMA's 2019-20 Corporate Training Plan clearly

articulated the approach to learning and development. The plan identified a number of

development priorities through capability plans submitted by employees, input from our

Executive group and results from the 2019 APS Employee Census. The planning approach

ensures AFMA has a workforce with the skills and capabilities required now and for the

future.

We also continued to implement core skill development programs focused on building

manager capability, leadership, communication and career development. Training was

offered via online, face-to-face, self-paced learning and videoconferencing. In 2019-20,

AFMA conducted a number of in-house courses that covered a range of key areas including

digital recordkeeping, risk management, Microsoft teams audio and video calling,

procurement and contract management.

In 2019-20, there was a slight decrease in uptake of the agencies studies assistance

program. Seven employees received studies assistance, which provides paid study leave

and financial assistance to undertake tertiary education in subject areas such as marine and

Antarctic science, communications, environmental, information and communications

technology, economics, maritime studies and international security.

In 2019-20 AFMA sponsored four staff members to participate in professional development

programs, including the 2019 Future Leaders Program, Professional Foundations Program

and the Australian Institute Health and Wealth EL2 leadership program. In addition one staff

member completed the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program.

Employment Programs

Graduate Development Program

AFMA partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in the

recruitment and delivery of the annual Graduate Development Program. The program

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includes a combination of on-the-job-training, mentoring, an industry visit and a formal

training program. We engaged two graduates each in 2019 and 2020 intakes. As part of the

program, each graduate is required to complete three rotations with the first and third

rotation completed in AFMA and the second rotation undertaken at the Department of

Agriculture, Water and the Environment. We also hosted two graduates from the Department

of Agriculture, Water and the Environment during the second rotation.

In October 2019, the graduates undertook an industry visit to Lakes Entrance and Hobart

that focused on scoping the capacity for industry participation in Commonwealth fisheries

management adaption under a changing climate. The industry visit provided graduates with

valuable on the job learning experiences including an opportunity to meet with our

stakeholders.

Diversity and Inclusion

AFMA is committed to fostering a diverse workplace free from discrimination and

harassment, an environment that recognises and values the individual differences of

employees, and fosters the contributions of people with different backgrounds, experiences

and perspectives.

The commitment extends to attracting and recruiting people from diverse backgrounds and

wherever possible, participation in whole of APS Programs.

In 2019-20 AFMA supported several initiatives to improve the Agency’s diversity outcomes,

including:

• various events to raise awareness of diversity, such as NAIDOC week, Harmony Day,

Mental Health week, Wear it Purple Day, International Women’s Day and International

Day of People with Disability

• staff were also able to participate in a range of diversity staff networks hosted by

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

• the promotion of flexible working as part of normal business through the Working at

AFMA Policy.

Workforce Statistics

Table 3: Ongoing employees employed by location, gender and employment status as

at 30 June 2020

Level Location Female Male Total employees at

level

Part time Full time Part time Full time

APS 1-

2

Canberra 0 1 0 0 1

APS 3-

4

Canberra 3 10 0 4 17

Darwin 0 2 0 2 4

Lakes Entrance 0 0 0 1 1

Thursday Island 0 2 0 0 2

APS 5-

6

Canberra 6 16 0 22 44

Darwin 0 3 0 7 10

Lakes Entrance 0 3 0 1 4

Thursday Island 0 2 0 2 4

EL1 Canberra 2 11 0 14 27

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Darwin 0 1 0 1 2

Lakes Entrance 0 0 0 1 1

Thursday Island 0 0 0 1 1

EL2 Canberra 1 3 0 7 11

Darwin 0 0 0 1 1

Thursday Island 0 1 0 0 1

SES Canberra 0 1 0 2 3

Darwin 0 0 0 1 1

Total 12 56 0 67 135

This table excludes three employees who were on long-term leave as at 30 June 2020.

These figures relate to the nominal occupants of the position and not employees who may

be acting at a higher classification as at 30 June 2020. This SES figure also includes

AFMA’s CEO.

Table 4: Non-ongoing employees employed by location, gender and employment

status as at 30 June 2020

Level Location Women Men Total

employees

at level

Part

time

Full time Part

time

Full time

APS 1-2 Noosaville,

QLD

0 0 1 0 1

Millner, NT 0 0 1 0 1

Woolner, NT 0 0 1 0 1

Cudgera Creek,

NSW

0 0 1 0 1

Orange, NSW 0 0 1 0 1

Sellicks Beach,

SA

0 0 1 0 1

Port Lincoln, SA 0 0 2 0 2

St Agnes, SA 0 0 1 0 1

Fitzroy North,

VIC

0 0 1 0 1

Lakes Entrance 0 0 1 0 1

APS 3-4 Curtin, ACT 0 0 1 0 1

Jimboomba,

QLD

0 0 1 0 1

Ashmore, QLD 0 0 1 1

Minyama, QLD 0 0 1 0 1

Forster, NSW 0 0 1 0 1

Sarsfield, VIC 0 0 1 0 1

APS 5-6 ACT 0 0 0 0 0

Total 0 0 17 0 17

These figures include 17 observers who are engaged as APS 2/3 casual employees and are

reported in the Canberra ‘part time’ figures.

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Table 5: Diversity profile of AFMA employees as at 30 June 2020

Level NESB

1

NESB

2

People

with

disability

Aboriginal and

Torres Strait

Islander

Women Men Total employees

at level

APS 2-4 0 5 2 4 18 26 44

APS 5-6 5 11 1 2 30 30 60

EL1 0 5 0 1 14 17 31

EL2 0 2 0 0 5 8 13

SES 0 2 0 0 1 3 4

Total 5 25 3 7 68 84 152

NESB1: Persons from a non-English speaking background who were born overseas.

NESB2: Persons whose parent/s is/are from a non-English speaking background.

Total SES includes AFMA CEO

Information (except gender data sourced from AFMA’s HR management system) has been

sourced from a diversity report where individuals volunteer to provide diversity information to

the Agency.

Table 6: Salary ranges by non-Senior Executive classification level as at 30 June 2020

Classification Minimum ($) Maximum ($)

APS 1 $44 718 $52 258

APS 2 $56 026 $59 799

APS 3 $61 326 $66 650

APS 4 $69 310 $74 103

APS 5 $76 385 $80 902

APS 6 $85 417 $94 456

EL1 $105 075 $116 785

EL2 $123 275 $143 720

AFMA does not provide performance bonuses.

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PART 5 FINANCIAL

PERFORMANCE REPORTS AND

STATEMENTS

Financial Performance

Levy Relief Package

To assist Commonwealth fisheries the Levy Relief Package provided under the Assistance

for Severely Affected Regions (Special Appropriation) (Coronavirus Economic Response

Package) Bill 2020, made around $10.3 million available to AFMA in order to waive any

further levies for all Commonwealth fisheries for the remainder of the 2019-20 year.

The package provided relief for Commonwealth concession holders from payment of:

• April and May instalments prescribed under the Fishing Levy Amendment (2019-20

Levy Amounts) Regulations 2019 (Fishing Levy)

• April instalment prescribed under the Fisheries Levy (Torres Strait Prawn Fishery)

Amendment (Levy Amount) Regulations 2019 (TSPF Levy).

The legislative implementation of the package involved seeking approval from the Finance

Minister to:

• the waiver of levy instalment amounts outstanding pursuant to section 63 of the PGPA

Act totalling some $7.9 million

• act of grace payments on behalf of the Commonwealth pursuant to section 65 of the

PGPA Act for levy amounts already receipted for relevant levy instalments totalling

some $2.5 million.

Approvals under the PGPA Act s63 and s65 were received from the Assistant Minister for

Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters on 8 May 2020.

AFMA worked with its Commonwealth concession holders to ensure the timely refund of levy

instalment amounts already paid, some $2.5 million. Commonwealth concession holders

were asked to complete a ‘reimbursement of levy form’ detailing all necessary information to

ensure that refund requests could be verified for accurate and fast payment into their

nominated bank accounts. The first payment batch of ‘refunds’, totalling some $2.1 million

was processed on 15 May 2020 with remaining refunds processed regularly as verified.

Reimbursement of levy Instalment forms were provided. All Commonwealth concession

holders were refunded before 30 June 2020. All debt waivers, totalling some $7.9 million

were processed in May 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted a number of AFMA’s activities from March 2020

onwards. The key flow-on financial impacts included: lower employee benefits expenditure

as limited recruitment was undertaken and lower travel expenditure due to restrictions on

domestic and international travel.

Results

AFMA reported a surplus attributable to the Australian Government of $2.4 million for the

2019-20 financial year compared with a budgeted loss of $1.6 million, or $4.0 million less

than budget. Key drivers of this result are provided below.

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Employee benefits costs were $2.2 million lower due to significantly lower Average Staffing

Levels (ASL) for the year (150.9 ASL compared to a budget of 177.0 ASL). Due to the

impacts of COVID-19, there was limited recruitment undertaken from March 2020 onwards

as the organisation adapted to more remote working arrangements and limited field

operations, further exacerbating below-budget staffing levels.

Suppliers were $0.3 million lower mainly due to:

• lower travel and staff-related costs

• lower expenditure on printing and publications with the move to paperless operations

• offset somewhat by higher expenditure on contractors and consultancies relating

primarily to priority information technology and governance projects, along with higher

vessel monitoring system costs provided to state and territory governments.

Resources received free of charge were $1.5 million higher than budget due to the transfer

of the Pearls Building and land on Thursday Island.

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Australian National Audit Office report

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Financial Statements for year ending 30 June

2020

NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Certification

Primary financial statements

Statement of Comprehensive Income

Statement of Financial Position

Statement of Changes in Equity

Cash Flow Statement

Administered Schedule of Comprehensive Income

Administered Schedule of Assets and Liabilities

Administered Reconciliation Schedule

Administered Cash Flow Statement

Overview

Notes to the financial statements:

1. Financial performance

1.1: Expenses

1.2: Own Source Revenue

1.3: Revenue from Government

Accounting policies - financial performance

2. Departmental Financial position

2.1: Financial assets

2.2: Non-financial assets

2.3: Payables

2.4: Leases

2.5: Other Provisions

Accounting policies - financial position

3. Assets and liabilities administered on behalf of the Government

3.1: Administered - financial assets

3.2: Administered - liabilities

4. Funding

4.1: Appropriations

4.2: Special accounts

4.3: Regulatory charging summary

4.4: Net cash appropriation arrangements

5. People and relationships

5.1: Employees

Accounting policies - people and relationships

5.2: Key management personnel remuneration

5.3: Related party disclosures

6. Managing uncertainty

6.1: Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

6.2: Financial instruments

Accounting policies - financial instruments

7. Other Information

7.1: Aggregate Assets and Liabilities

7.2: Assets held in Trust

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Statement by the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief

Finance Officer

In our opinion, the attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2020 comply

with subsection 42(2) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

(PGPA Act), and are based on properly maintained financial records as per subsections

41(2) of the PGPA Act.

In our opinion, at the date of this statement, there are reasonable grounds to believe that

AFMA will be able to pay its debts as and when they fall due.

Wez Norris Robert Gehrig

Chief Executive Officer Chief Finance Officer

7 September 2020 7 September 2020

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PART 6 APPENDICES

Appendix 1

Commission and Executive

Commission

AFMA Commissioners are appointed for their level of expertise in one or more of the fields

of fisheries management, fishing industry operations, science, natural resource

management, economics, business or financial management, law, public sector

administration or governance. The new legislative amendments added expertise on matters

relating to recreational or Indigenous fishing. Future appointments to the Commission will

take the new requirements into consideration.

The following Commissioners held appointments during the reporting period 2019-20:

Ms Helen Kroger - Chair

Helen has held leadership positions in the private, public and not for profit sectors for the last

20 years. She is a former Liberal Senator for Victoria, Government Whip and active former

member of numerous key Senate and Joint Committees. She has extensive board

experience and advises corporations on regulatory compliance, governance,

communications and stakeholder management issues.

Mr Wez Norris - Chief Executive Officer

Wez is an AFMA Commissioner and the CEO. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in

Natural Systems and Wildlife Management from the University of Queensland. He has

worked for Queensland Fisheries, previously at AFMA, as the Manager of the Eastern Tuna

and Billfish Fishery, and then spent 10 years as the Deputy Director-General at the Pacific

Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, in the Solomon Islands. He has worked on a number of

significant fisheries reform projects, including prawn trawl, hand-line and hand-collectable

fisheries, and also held positions in the Torres Strait and in a Ministerial Office.

Ms Catherine Cooper

Catherine currently chairs the Environment Protection Agency of South Australia and Central

Adelaide Waste and Recycling Authority. Catherine is an industry leader and she was a

finalist in both the 1997 and 1998 Telstra Business Women's Awards. She has extensive

committee and board experience including as former Chair of the Fisheries Council of South

Australia, the South Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee

and Aquaculture Advisory Council.

Mr Brett McCallum

Brett has been a director of Bresal Consulting since November 2015. He has a Bachelor of

Commerce and is a past Deputy Chair of the Fisheries Research and Development

Corporation. He is currently chair of the Western Australian Research Advisory Committee,

the Australian Aquatic Animal Welfare Strategy Working Group and the Offshore Snapper

Fishery Advisory Committee in the NT. His expertise covers commercial fisheries

management, government policy setting, natural resource management, economics and

business management. He has over 40 years’ experience in peak fishing industry

representation as Chief Executive of the WA Fishing Industry Council and the Pearl

Producers Association. Brett has held senior managerial positions with several leading

Australian fishing, pearling and exporting companies.

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Mrs Sevaly Sen

Sevaly is an applied economist with over thirty years’ experience in fisheries in Australia,

Oceania, Europe, Africa and Asia. Sevaly ran her own consultancy company in the UK,

worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in southern Africa and the

Institute of Fisheries Management in Denmark. Since moving to Australia in 1999, Sevaly

runs her own consultancy business. She has been a member of the Fisheries Council of

South Australia, the NSW Structural Adjustment Review Committee and the Torres Strait

Scientific Advisory Committee. Currently she is a member of the Torres Strait Rock Lobster

Working Group, is advisor to Sydney Fish Market on sustainability issues and coordinates

an FRDC sub-program.

Dr David Smith

David led the Marine Resources and Industries Research Program of CSIRO Oceans and

Atmosphere. The Program focused on research that supports the balanced use of marine

resources, including sustainable marine industries (fisheries, offshore oil and gas) and

biodiversity conservation. Prior to joining CSIRO in 2005, he was Director of the Marine and

Freshwater Resources Institute in Victoria. He has over 30 years’ experience in fisheries

assessment and management, and research management. Since September 2018 he has

been a consultant. He currently is the Independent Chair of the National Research Providers

Network for Fisheries and Aquaculture and is a member of the National Marine Science

Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Marne and Antarctic Studies.

Mr Scott Spencer

Scott has over 40 years’ experience in natural resource management and public policy

development. He is a former Secretary of the Queensland Fish Management Authority,

Director General of the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, Deputy

Director General (Policy ) in the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet and most

recently, Deputy Director General, Fisheries and Forestry within the Queensland

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Scott was also Chair of the Board of Directors of

Sunwater Ltd and for a number of years, operated his own private consultancy. He has held

numerous statutory positions including as Commissioner on the then Murray Darling Basin

Commission. Scott has formal qualifications in Economics.

AFMA Commissioners - attendance at commission meetings

Five Commission meetings were held in 2019-20. The table below shows the number of

meetings Commissioners attended.

Commissioner Meetings attended

Ms Helen Kroger 5

Mr Wez Norris 5

Ms Catherine Cooper 5

Mr Brett McCallum 5

Mrs Sevaly Sen 5

Dr David Smith 5

Mr Scott Spencer 5

Executive

Role and function

The Executive is AFMA's senior management team responsible to the CEO for the effective

operation and performance of the agency.

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Membership

• Chief Executive Officer - Mr Wez Norris

• Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch - Ms Anna Willock

• General Manager, Operations Branch - Mr Peter Venslovas

• Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services Branch - Mr John Andersen

Audit and Risk Committee

Role and function

The Audit and Risk Committee operates in line with the Public Governance, Performance

and Accountability Act 2013 and provides independent advice and assurance to CEO of the

appropriateness of AFMA's:

• financial reporting including the annual audited financial statements

• performance reporting including the framework for developing, measuring and reporting

• systems of risk oversight and management including AFMA's risk management and

fraud control framework

• systems of internal controls associated with - governance, risk management,

compliance and business continuity management arrangements.

The charter determining the functions of AFMA’s Audit and Risk Committee is located on the

AFMA website Audit and Risk Committee Charter. The committee held four meetings during

the reporting period.

Membership

From 1 July to 31 December, the committee comprised one AFMA Commissioner and three

independent members. A new committee was appointed for three years from 1 January

2020 and comprised three independent member. The members were:

Member Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience Meetings

attended

Remuneration

Ms Catherine

Cooper

1 July - 31

December

2019

Committee Chair and Deputy Chair of the AFMA

Commission

2 $0

Mr Geoff

Knuckey

Significant Board and Audit Committee experience in

the private and public sector. Strong financial reporting

and management skills attained through professional

and management roles. Highly developed appreciation

of business, financial and reputational risk and

appropriate governance frameworks

4 $300 per hour

Ms Mary

Harwood

Extensive experience as a senior executive in the

Commonwealth Government. Design and delivery of

major government initiatives related to natural

resource management. Knowledge of all aspects of

program management including governance, risk

oversight and management, financial control and

delivery

4 $275 per hour

Ms Kate

Freebody 1

July - 31

December

2019

Financial management consulting experience in the

commercial and public sector, chartered accounting

background Deloitte, Ernst & Young

2 $250 per hour

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Mr Don Cross

1 January

2020 -

current

Chartered accountant with extensive experience in

internal audit and assurance services, financial audit

services, technical skills in accounting and assurance,

financial management, risk management, program

management and evaluation.

2 $275 per hour

Permanent Advisers

The committee has regular observers attending including:

• Mr John Andersen (Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services Branch)

• Mr Robert Gehrig (Chief Finance Officer)

• Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)

• Mr Scott Connors (Senior Manager, Business Operational Support)

• Audit representatives from Bellchambers Barrett (AFMA's internal audit providers),

Nexia (contracted external auditors) and the Australian National Audit Office.

AFMA's Business Partnership and Strategy team provides administrative support to the

Audit and Risk Committee.

Research Committee

Role and function

The role of AFMA's Research Committee is to advise the AFMA Commission on the

strategic directions, priorities and funding for monitoring and research relevant to meeting

AFMA's information needs and objectives and review finalised research projects in terms of

delivery of outputs, and outcomes, adoption/impacts and required adjustment to AFMA

processes. In doing so the primary functions of the committee are to:

• review and advise on research, monitoring and assessment priorities for

Commonwealth fisheries

• review AFMA's five year research plans for Commonwealth fisheries

• provide advice to the AFMA Commission on allocation of AFMA research funds

• assess research, monitoring and assessment investments for the Commonwealth

fisheries for consistency with management needs.

The committee held two meetings in 2019-20.

Membership

• Mr Brett McCallum (Chair and Commissioner)

• Dr David Smith (Commissioner) - invited participant

• Mr Wez Norris (CEO)

• Ms Anna Willock (Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch)

• vacant (Committee Secretary)

Permanent Advisors

• Mr Ryan Murphy (Senior Manager, Policy, Environment, Economics and Research)

• Ms Yvonne Zunic (Manager, Research)

Regular Observers

The committee also invites regular observers from the following agencies and departments

to attend and provide expert advice:

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• Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Oceans and

Atmosphere

• Commonwealth Fisheries Association

• Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

• Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

• Persons associated with Indigenous fisheries

• Persons associated with Recreational fisheries

Strategic Delivery Committee

The Strategic Delivery Committee met throughout 2019-20 to provide Executive oversight of

all AFMA significant projects. The committee uses a risk-based tiered approach to prioritise

projects undertaken by the agency to ensure appropriate governance and monitoring

arrangements are in place. Each project is assessed based on risk factors that weigh the

alignment and impact of the project on our corporate objectives. The committee monitors

resources assigned and budget impacts, to ensure that milestones/targets are met to

achieve project success.

Major projects reviewed by the committee in 2019-20 included development and

implementation of the AFMA ICT Strategic Plan.

The Business Operational Support team provides co-ordination and administrative support

to the Strategic Delivery Committee.

Membership

• Mr John Andersen (Chair and Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services Branch)

• Ms Anna Willock (Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch)

• Mr Peter Venslovas (General Manager, Fisheries Operations Branch)

• Mr Robert Gehrig (Chief Finance Officer)

• Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)

• Mr Tod Spencer (Senior Manager, National Compliance Strategy)

• Mr Scott Connors (Senior Manager, Business Operational Support)

Data and Information Governance Committee

AFMA extended the duties of its previous Information and Governance Committee to include

the responsibilities of managing the agency's data management holistically within the

agency. The Data and Information Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that

data and information is treated as an asset and supports organisational outcomes. It

ensures that risk and compliance issues are identified and addressed for as long as the data

and information is required.

The committee provides a strategic oversight to managing data, information and records to

reduce business risk, increase accountability, and improve operational efficiencies. The

committee provides oversight to ensure data and information integrity and reliability, are

searchable, accessible and that appropriate access controls are employed.

The committee provides governance and oversight on a range of initiatives to improve our

data and information governance processes which are linked to the AFMA ICT Strategic

Plan. The committee also considers the impacts the Government's Digital Transformation

Agenda has on the agency and ensures that Whole of Government initiatives are taken into

account when designing and implementing systems that involve public and stakeholders.

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Existing AFMA information governance documents are being reviewed and a consultant has

been engaged to develop an overarching Information Management Strategy which will

provide a pathway for meeting the requirements of the Australian Government's Digital

Continuity 2020 Policy.

Membership

• Mr John Andersen (Chair and Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services Branch)

• Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)

• Mr Ryan Murphy (Senior Manager, Fisheries Services)

• Mr Tod Spencer (Senior Manager, National Compliance Strategy)

• Mr Thomas Kaufhold (Senior Records Management Officer and Secretariat)

• Ms Kerry Smith (Senior Manager, Foreign Compliance)

Security Governance Committee

The AFMA Security Governance Committee met quarterly during 2019-20 to consider the

current security governance arrangements and the security threats and vulnerabilities to

AFMA. The committee reviews our personnel, physical and information security

arrangements and ensures compliance with the Protective Security Policy Framework

(PSPF). In 2019-20 the committee reviewed AFMA's Security Governance hierarchy,

responded to the Information Security Manual and “Essential 8” information security

mitigation measures recommended by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, drafted a Data

Breach Response Plan, Cyber Incident Response plan, and updated personnel security

vetting procedures. In addition the committee kept informed on the Cyber Security Project to

further strengthen AFMAs cyber security posture and provided input and feedback through

this project where required.

This year the committee was bolstered by a partnership between AFMA and the Indigenous

Cyber Security provider Dreamtime Supply to assist in the delivery of our PSPF obligations,

focusing on cyber security.

Membership

• Mr John Andersen (Chair and Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services Branch)

• Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)

• Mr Scott Connors (Senior Manager, Security and Property)

• Mr Dave Newton (ICT Operations Manager)

• Mr Gareth Peak (ICT Cyber Consultant and AFMA ITSA)

• Mr Ranjith Selvarajan (Network Engineer)

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Appendix 2

Management Advisory Committee meetings and

memberships

Management Advisory Committees are statutory committees established by AFMA under

section 56 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.

The committees provide advice to AFMA and the AFMA Commission on the preparation of

management arrangements, the operation of the relevant fishery and reporting to AFMA on

scientific, economic and other information on the status of fish stocks, sub stocks, species

(target and non-target species) and the impact of fishing on the marine environment. This

advice is required to be evidence-based and address biological, economic and wider

ecological factors affecting the performance of the fishery. Committee advice assists AFMA

and the AFMA Commission in its role to regulate commercial fishing in Commonwealth

fisheries, particularly the setting of catch limits and conditions.

The membership of Management Advisory Committees is available on AFMA's website.

Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once in Sydney on 12 November 2019. A second face-to-face meeting,

planned for March 2020, was postponed due to COVID-19 circumstances. The committee

reviewed the existing two year total allowable commercial catch limits for the Eastern Tuna

and Billfish Fishery and the existing three year Western Tuna and Billfish Fisheries total

allowable commercial catches and did not recommend any changes to these for the 2020

season to the AFMA Commission.

The committee endorsed a final version of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Management Strategy and a revised Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery ecological risk

assessment.

The committee also:

• reviewed further development of seabird mitigation arrangements in the fishery following

higher than normal interactions with protected species in some sectors of the Eastern

Tuna and Billfish Fishery under the Threat Abatement Plan

• considered the outcomes of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meetings.

Great Australian Bight Management Advisory

Committee

The committee met once in Melbourne during 2019-20. The committee made

recommendations to the AFMA Commission in relation to total allowable catches for quota

species.

The committee also:

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• reviewed the Orange Roughy Rebuilding Strategy and Great Australian Bight Trawl

Sector Orange Roughy Research Plan

• discussed the management of southern dogfish in the Great Australian Bight Trawl

Sector, including the Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy Review and research

projects to explore mitigation options to prevent capture of deepwater sharks

• considered the potential implications of COVID-19 on Great Australian Bight Trawl

Sector operators and the wider Australian fishing and seafood industries.

Northern Prawn Management Advisory Committee

The committee postponed its annual meeting until the second half of 2020 to align with the

results of key research that will enable consideration of updated harvest control rules for

redleg banana prawns. The committee considered and supported the following items out-of-

session during 2019-20:

• the Northern Prawn Fishery harvest strategy was amended for scampi to align the

season start date with the end of the fishery’s tiger prawn season

• bycatch reduction devices authorised when targeting tiger prawns were updated to

ensure all authorised devices have been demonstrated through scientific trials to

achieve a bycatch reduction of greater than 30 per cent compared to square mesh

panels

• the Northern Prawn Fishery annual research plan was reviewed and updated to include

the latest key research priorities.

Southern Bluefin Tuna Management Advisory

Committee

The committee met once in 2019-20 in Canberra.

The committee discussed:

• the outcomes from the 2019 Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna

Operating Model and Management Procedure Technical Meeting and 24

th

Extended

Scientific Committee meeting

• progress towards a new Management Procedure

• the total allowable catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna for the 2019-20 season and

accounting for all sources of mortality.

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management

Advisory Committee

The committee met three times during 2019-20 via teleconference. The committee made

recommendations to the AFMA Commission for the 2020 fishing season on total allowable

catches for Commercial Scallop and Doughboy Scallops, closures and fishing season dates

in accordance with the intent of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest

Strategy. The committee also:

• provided advice to the AFMA Commission on the potential management implications of

not undertaking the 2020 biomass survey and setting the total allowable catch for

Commercial Scallop outside the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest

Strategy for a single year after AFMA received requests from industry to cancel the

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2020 scallop biomass survey due to operational and health issues arising from the

COVID-19 pandemic

• considered the schedule of planned seismic activity and any potential impacts for

closures that were recommended for the 2020 fishing season

• provided initial advice on proposed amendments as a part of the review of the Bass

Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Harvest Strategy

• provided advice on AFMA's proposal to collect economic data following consultation

with operators and the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Resource Assessment

Group.

South East Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice in 2019-20, once in Canberra and once in Melbourne. The

committee:

• made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches and effort

controls for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, the Small Pelagic

Fishery and the Southern Squid Jig Fishery

• provided advice on the requirement for electronic monitoring in the Gillnet, Hook and

Trap sector

• provided advice on the management of rebuilding species including blue warehou,

orange roughy, school shark and upper-slope dogfish

• provided advice on the western orange roughy research plan.

Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory Committee

The committee held two meetings in 2019-20, one meeting via teleconference and one

meeting in Hobart.

The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches

for Patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish and catch limits for bycatch species in the

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery. The committee also made recommendations

on total allowable catch for Patagonian toothfish as well as catch limits for bycatch species

in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery.

The committee also discussed:

• the outcomes of the 2019 meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic

Marine Living Resources

• new vessel management arrangements

• exploratory fisheries applications for the 2019/20 season.

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Appendix 3

Freedom of Information reporting

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 are required to publish information

to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. This requirement is in Part II of

the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and has replaced the former requirement to publish a

Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan

showing what information it publishes in accordance with the Information Publication

Scheme requirements.

Information on AFMA’s Freedom of Information reporting can be found on our website at

afma.gov.au

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 133

Appendix 4

Work Health and Safety

AFMA recognises its responsibility and obligations as outlined in the Work Health and Safety

Act 2011, and is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for

all of its employees, contractors, consultants and visitors. Health and wellbeing is considered

to be of utmost importance and the need to integrate health and safety into all aspects of our

work, whether in the office or in the field is paramount. In 2019-20, AFMA undertook a

comprehensive review of our Health and Safety Management Arrangements in consultation

with all staff.

The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee is a joint management and staff committee

that is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all of its

staff, contractors, consultants and visitors.

The WHS Committee:

• assists with the development, implementation, review and update of policies and

procedures in relation to WHS

• reviews incident reporting

• oversights the implementation of preventive measures

• assists in the distribution and awareness of WHS information to staff.

The WHS Committee met four times during the 2019-20 financial year.

Health and Safety Initiatives

AFMA maintains a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of all employees and

visitors. During 2019-20, the agency undertook initiatives ensuring the health, safety and

wellbeing of workers and achieved good health and safety outcomes as a result.

AFMA introduced strategies to assist staff to improve their wellbeing, with an emphasis on

prevention and early intervention. This included revised policies, offering training,

awareness sessions that coincide with significant events, such as RUOK Day, Dry July,

Step-tember, Movember and Go Home on Time Day. In addition, at AFMA’s annual

Observer Conference held in December 2019, presentations and information sessions were

held that focused on the importance of WHS management and the reporting of incidents and

hazards.

As part of the agency’s health and wellbeing approach, health checks and influenza

vaccinations were offered to all staff. AFMA continues to provide WHS guidance to new

employees through the AFMA Induction Program and all new employees are provided with

information on their WHS obligations, ergonomic workstation setup and access to Work,

Health and Safety Information including policies, guidelines and factsheets. We have sit-

stand workstations in the Canberra office and Lakes Entrance offices and access to sit-stand

workstations in the Darwin and Thursday Island offices.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all AFMA staff were required to work from home

from 30 March 2020. In supporting the health and wellbeing of its workers to work remotely,

support was provided to all individuals including access to information on undertaking home

based workstation assessments, providing ergonomic equipment (if required) and keeping

staff updated and informed via a dedicated COVID-19 intranet site. Further to this, the

dedicated COVID-19 intranet site provided information, guidance and support on information

technology, working remotely and leave arrangements. During the pandemic regular

updates were provided by the AFMA Executive through a number of forums including all

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

134

staff meetings and ‘Weekly Wrap’ updates. AFMA’s information technology capability made

connection and engagement with staff readily accessible and highly effective.

In addition, the establishment of a Health and Wellbeing Hub as part of the AFMA COVID-19

intranet site including a range of resources to assist staff in supporting their mental health

and wellbeing through the pandemic. The Health and Wellbeing Hub includes information on

AFMA’s employee assistance program, flu vaccinations, online mental health training,

meditation, mindfulness, exercise and mental health fact sheets from Comcare, Beyond Blue

and R U OK. AFMA also established a social channel Campfire on the intranet to support

staff during isolation.

Incidents and Hazards

AFMA is required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to create and maintain a safe

and healthy work environment for all workers and record WHS data relating to incidents and

hazards. In 2019-20 AFMA recorded 10 incidents relating to accidents or near-misses (see

Figure 2). This rate has decreased from 26 in 2018-19. Majority of the incidents recorded

occurred in the first half of the 2019-20 financial year. One of the key factors contributing to

the reduction of incidents at sea and office based incidents and hazards could be attributed

to the pandemic that resulted in field based activities being suspended and all staff working

remotely. Another key factor was the agency’s continued focus on prevention and early

intervention program.

The agency monitors and assesses all incidents and hazards and reports to the AFMA

Commission and the WHS Committee. Where identified, modifications and changes to work

practices and training and awareness programs are implemented.

Figure 2: AFMA Work Health and Safety incidents reports comparison

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 135

Notifiable Incidents in 2019-20

In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, AFMA is required to report

‘notifiable incidents' to Comcare. A notifiable incident can include: death of a person; serious

injury or illness, or a dangerous incident which arises out of AFMA conducting its business.

In 2019-20 there were no incidents that were required to be notified to Comcare that fell

within the definition of a Dangerous Occurrence under the Work Health and Safety

legislation.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

136

Appendix 5

Ecologically sustainable development and

environmental performance

Legislation according with Ecological Sustainable

Development Principles

AFMA's implementation of the ecological component of ecologically sustainable

development is based on ecosystem elements relating to:

• target and by-product species

• bycatch

• threatened, endangered and protected species

• habitats and ecological communities.

To support and implement an ecologically sustainable development approach, we draw

upon ecological risk assessments for each Commonwealth fishery. Ecological risk

assessments involve a number of methods, including comprehensive qualitative and

quantitative analyses. This approach screens out low risk activities, focusing on higher

actual and potential risks within Commonwealth fisheries.

The results of these risk assessments for each fishery are consolidated into a priority list

upon which an ecological risk management strategy is focused. A detailed ecological risk

management strategy for each AFMA managed fishery has been prepared, clearly

identifying how each species or group of species will be managed.

AFMA is transitioning to a Fisheries Management Strategy reporting framework where, on a

fishery by fishery basis, all of the relevant parts of our strategies and management

arrangements are compiled into a comprehensive document about each fishery. These

Fisheries Management Strategies will be used for reporting purposes.

AFMA has completed and published ecological risk management reports for all

Commonwealth fisheries to address identified fishing risks. The number of species

remaining at high potential risk across all Commonwealth fisheries is 87, which is 4.3 per

cent of all species assessed. It is expected that the number of “potential high risk” fisheries

will reduce in some fisheries as they are reassessed under the revised Ecological Risk

Assessment methodology using improved information gathered through increased observer

coverage and the introduction of e-monitoring.

Outcome contributing to Ecological Sustainable

Development

AFMA's outcomes are directed at Commonwealth fisheries being ecologically sustainable,

improving the net economic returns from Commonwealth fisheries and managing efficiently

and effectively.

This approach reflects our commitment to pursuing management of Commonwealth fisheries

in accordance with our legislative objectives and in partnership with others who also have an

interest in sustainable management.

Effect of actions on the environment

All of AFMA's managed fisheries are currently accredited under three parts of the

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 137

Part 10 of the Act requires that all Commonwealth and Torres Strait Fisheries must be

strategically assessed before a management plan is determined (Section 148) or where a

determination is made that a management plan is not required for a Commonwealth fishery

(Section 149). If a management plan is amended or replaced, or management arrangements

change significantly in a fishery without a management plan, then a further assessment is

required (Section 152). If a management plan remains unchanged no further strategic

assessment is required. This process involves assessment of the impact of the fishery on

matters of national environmental significance with particular emphasis on the impact on the

Commonwealth marine environment. Without this approval a management plan cannot take

effect.

Part 13 of the Act defines a number of offences in relation to listed threatened species and

ecological communities, and also provides for accreditation of management plans or

regimes (Sections 208A, 222A, 245, 265). The effect of accreditation is that certain actions

are not offences if they are carried out in accordance with management plans or regimes.

There is no requirement to remake the accreditation decisions unless the management

plans or regimes change. These accreditations impose a requirement on fishers to report

any interactions with protected species to AFMA through our logbooks, which we in turn

provide regular reports to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on

fishers' behalf, thus reducing unnecessary duplication of reporting.

Part 13A of the Act covers the international movement of wildlife specimens. It provides for

controls over the movement of regulated native specimens that are not on the list of exempt

native specimens. Currently products from all assessed Commonwealth fisheries are on the

list of exempt native specimens, although some are subject to the condition that the listing

applies only while a wildlife trade operation is in force. This allows exports of marine species

to be carried out while ensuring that they have been taken sustainably.

Actions to minimise impact on the environment

We take an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management to minimise the impact of

commercial fisheries on the marine environment. The Ecological Risk Management Policy,

and accompanying Ecological Risk Management Guide, provide a science and evidence

based structure for managing the impact of fishing on the marine environment. The

framework uses Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing as the primary means

of assessing the risks that fisheries may pose and provides a mechanism for the

identification and management of any identified risks. Revised methodologies in the

Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing framework are being applied to

fisheries as they are reassessed. The results of these assessments are reported in the

performance section.

Mechanisms for reviewing

A number of mechanisms exist for reviewing the effect of fishing on the environment.

AFMA reviewed its Ecological Risk Management Framework and the Commission approved

the Ecological Risk Management Guide and Ecological Risk Management Policy in April and

June 2017 respectively. AFMA also regularly reviews individual elements of the Ecological

Risk Management Framework through the Ecological Risk Management Steering

Committee. This group of expert risk assessment fisheries scientists and fishery managers

is tasked with providing strategic advice to the AFMA Commission and AFMA Management

on the direction, development, coordination and implementation of AFMA’s risk management

framework.

We are also subject to reassessment of all its fisheries under Part 13A of the Environmental

Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Department of Environment, Water

and Environment undertake the reassessments on a regular basis, ranging from a ten year

review cycle for fisheries granted exemptions to a more regular review process for fisheries

granted wildlife trade operations.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

138

Appendix 6

Disability Reporting

Since 1994, Commonwealth non-corporate entities have reported on their performance as

policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth

Disability Strategy. In 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the

Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the Australian

Public Service Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at the Australian Public

Service Commission website. From 2010-11, entities have no longer been required to report

on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability

Strategy 2010-2020, which sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives

of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high

level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the

Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. Details of the strategy

and associated reports can be found at the Department of Social Services website.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 139

Appendix 7

Consultancy Services

During 2019-20, 26 new consultancy contracts were entered into and this resulted in

expenditure of $2.063 million for the period. In addition, 28 ongoing consultancy contracts

were active during 2019-20 resulting in expenditure of $3.327 million.

All consultancy contracts entered into by AFMA above the value of $10 000 are available via

the Austender website.

Selection and engagement of consultants

The majority of consultancy services engaged during the 2019-20 were for fisheries

research purposes. The selection and engagement of research consultants was primarily

conducted through a limited tender because of the small pool of qualified vendors for these

specific services.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

140

Appendix 8

Procurement and Small Business

AFMA supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government

procurement market. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation

statistics are available on the Department of Finance's website

How AFMA’s procurement practices support small and

medium enterprises

As a government organisation that interfaces with many small and medium enterprises as

part of our daily engagement with the fishing industry and broader community, AFMA has

procurement policies that do not unfairly discriminate against small and medium enterprises

and provide appropriate opportunities for small and medium enterprises to compete. AFMA's

procurement policies specifically stipulate that officials should consider in the procurement

process, value for money:

• the benefits of doing business with competitive small and medium enterprises when

specifying requirements and evaluating value for money

• barriers to entry, such as costly preparation of submissions, that may prevent small and

medium enterprises from competing

• small and medium enterprises capabilities and their commitment to local or regional

markets

• the potential benefits of having a larger, more competitive supplier base.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 141

Appendix 9

Total Resources and Total Payments

Actual

available

appropriation

2019-20

$’000

Payments

made

2019-20

$’000

Balance

remaining

2019-20

$’000

Ordinary annual services

Departmental appropriation

Departmental appropriation

30,679

30,679

-

s. 74 Retained revenue receipts

-

-

-

Total

30,679

30,679

-

Administered expenses

Outcome 1

5,588

700

4,888

Total

5,588

700

4,888

Total ordinary annual services A

36,267

31,379

4,888

Special Accounts

Opening balance

8,959

Appropriation receipts

30,679

Non-appropriation receipts to Special Accounts

9,821

Payments made

38,853

Total Special Accounts B

49,459

38,853

10,606

Total resourcing and payments (A+B)

85,726

70,232

15,494

Less appropriations drawn from annual or special

appropriations above and credited to special

accounts and/or payments to corporate entities

through annual appropriations

(30,679)

(30,679)

-

Total net resourcing for AFMA

55,047

39,553

15,494

Note: Departmental receipts and payments are made through the AFMA special account. All

figures are GST exclusive.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

142

Appendix 10

Expenses by Outcomes

Outcome 1: Ecologically sustainable and

economically efficient Commonwealth fisheries,

through understanding and monitoring Australia’s

marine living resources and regulating and

monitoring commercial fishing, including domestic

licensing and deterrence of illegal foreign fishing.

2019-20 2019-20 2019-20

Budget Actual Variance

expenses

$'000 $'000 $'000

Programme 1.1: Australian Fisheries Management

Authority

(a) (b) (a) - (b)

Administered expenses

Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)

5,588

335

5,253

Departmental expenses

Departmental appropriation

1

22,263

20,305

1,958

Special appropriation

-

10,334

(10,334)

Special accounts

14,520

14,602

(82)

Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget

year

2

1,573

1,837

(264)

Total for Programme 1.1

43,944

47,413

(3,469)

Outcome 1 Totals by appropriation type

Administered expenses

Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)

5,588

335

5,253

Departmental expenses

Departmental appropriation

1

22,263

20,305

1,958

Special appropriation

-

10,334

(10,334)

Special accounts

14,520

14,602

(82)

Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget

year

2

1,573

1,837

(264)

Total expenses for Outcome 1

43,944

47,413

(3,469)

Average staffing level (number)

177

151

26

1. Departmental appropriation combines "Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)" "Retained Revenue Receipts

under s74 of the PGPA Act 2013".

2. Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year' is made up of depreciation expense and amortisation expense for

both Departmental and Administered items.

Note: Departmental appropriation splits and totals are indicative estimates and may change in the

course of the budget year as government priorities change.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 6: APPENDICES • 143

Appendix 11

Key Management Personnel Remuneration

During the reporting period ended 30 June 2020, AFMA had 10 executives who meet the

definition of key management personnel.

The table below provides disaggregated information disclosed in Note 5.2 Key Management

Personnel Remuneration in AFMA's 2019-20 financial statements.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

144

Short Term Benefits

Post

-

employment

Benefits

Other long

-

term

benefits

Termination

benefits

Total

remuneration

Key Management Personnel

Position

Term as KMP

Base salary

Other benefits & allowances

Bonuses

Superannuation contributions

Long service leave

Other long

-

term benefits

Wez Norris

Chief Executive Officer

Full year

382,264

53,152

9,277

444,693

Anna Willock

Executive Manager

Full year

275,023

42,139

6,714

323,876

Peter Venslovas

General Manager

Full year

217,580

173

39,927

5,469

263,149

John Andersen

Chief Operating Officer

Full year

225,956

172

46,090

5,745

277,962

Helen Kroger

Commissioner (Chair)

Full year

77,967

12,007

89,974

Catherine Cooper

Commissioner

Full year

38,984

6,003

44,987

Brett McCallum

Commissioner

Full year

38,984

6,003

44,987

Scott Spencer

Commissioner

Full year

38,984

6,003

44,987

Sevaly Sen

Commissioner

Full year

38,984

6,003

44,987

David Smith

Commissioner

Full year

38,984

6,069

45,052

1,373,708

344

223,398

27,205

1,624,655

Notes

:

1. The remuneration of the AFMA Chief Executive and AFMA Commissioners is made under the sub

-

section 7(3) and 7(4) of the

Remuneration

Tribunal Act 1973

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 145

PART 7 GLOSSARY AND

INDEXES

List of Requirements - non-corporate

Commonwealth entities

PGPA Rule

Reference

Part of

Report

(page)

Description Requirement

17AD(g) Letter of transmittal

17AI vi A copy of the letter of transmittal signed and dated by

accountable authority on date final text approved, with

statement that the report has been prepared in accordance

with section 46 of the Act and any enabling legislation that

specifies additional requirements in relation to the annual

report.

Mandatory

17AD(h) Aids to access

17AJ(a) iii Table of contents. Mandatory

17AJ(b) 154 Alphabetical index. Mandatory

17AJ(c) 149 Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms. Mandatory

17AJ(d) 145 List of requirements. Mandatory

17AJ(e) ii Details of contact officer. Mandatory

17AJ(f) ii Entity's website address. Mandatory

17AJ(g) ii Electronic address of report. Mandatory

17AD(a) Review by accountable authority

17AD(a) 1 A review by the accountable authority of the entity. Mandatory

17AD(b) Overview of the entity

17AE(1)(a)(i) 8 A description of the role and functions of the entity. Mandatory

17AE(1)(a)(ii) 10 A description of the organisational structure of the entity. Mandatory

17AE(1)(a)(iii) 12 A description of the outcomes and programmes administered

by the entity.

Mandatory

17AE(1)(a)(iv) 12 A description of the purposes of the entity as included in

corporate plan.

Mandatory

17AE(1)(aa)(i) 12 Name of the accountable authority or each member of the

accountable authority.

Mandatory

17AE(1)(aa)(ii) 12 Position of the accountable authority or each member of the

accountable authority.

Mandatory

17AE(1)(aa)(iii) 143 Period as the accountable authority or member of the

accountable authority within the reporting period.

Mandatory

17AE(1)(b) 8 An outline of the structure of the portfolio of the entity. Portfolio

departments -

mandatory

17AE(2) n/a Where the outcomes and programs administered by the entity

differ from any Portfolio Budget Statement, Portfolio Additional

Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement

that was prepared for the entity for the period, include details

of variation and reasons for change.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AD(c) Report on the Performance of the entity

Annual performance Statements

17AD(c)(i); 16F 12-32 Annual performance statement in accordance with paragraph

39(1)(b) of the Act and section 16F of the Rule.

Mandatory

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

146

17AD(c)(ii) Report on Financial Performance

17AF(1)(a) 83 A discussion and analysis of the entity’s financial performance. Mandatory

17AF(1)(b) 141 A table summarising the total resources and total payments of

the entity.

Mandatory

17AF(2) n/a If there may be significant changes in the financial results

during or after the previous or current reporting period,

information on those changes, including: the cause of any

operating loss of the entity; how the entity has responded to

the loss and the actions that have been taken in relation to the

loss; and any matter or circumstances that it can reasonably

be anticipated will have a significant impact on the entity’s

future operation or financial results.

If applicable,

Mandatory.

17AD(d) Management and Accountability

Corporate Governance

17AG(2)(a) vi Information on compliance with section 10 (fraud systems). Mandatory

17AG(2)(b)(i) vi A certification by accountable authority that fraud risk

assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared.

Mandatory

17AG(2)(b)(ii) vi A certification by accountable authority that appropriate

mechanisms for preventing, detecting incidents of,

investigating or otherwise dealing with, and recording or

reporting fraud that meet the specific needs of the entity are in

place.

Mandatory

17AG(2)(b)(iii) vi A certification by accountable authority that all reasonable

measures have been taken to deal appropriately with fraud

relating to the entity.

Mandatory

17AG(2)(c) 70 An outline of structures and processes in place for the entity to

implement principles and objectives of corporate governance.

Mandatory

17AG(2)(d) - (e) 74 A statement of significant issues reported to Minister under

paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Act that relates to non-compliance

with Finance law and action taken to remedy non-compliance.

If applicable,

Mandatory

Audit Committee

17AG(2A)(a) 125 A direct electronic address of the charter determining the

functions of the entity’s audit committee.

Mandatory

17AG(2A)(b) 125 The name of each member of the entity’s audit committee. Mandatory

17AG(2A)(c) 125 The qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience of each

member of the entity’s audit committee.

Mandatory

17AG(2A)(d) 125 Information about the attendance of each member of the

entity’s audit committee at committee meetings.

Mandatory

17AG(2A)(e) 125 The remuneration of each member of the entity’s audit

committee.

Mandatory

External Scrutiny

17AG(3) 69 Information on the most significant developments in external

scrutiny and the entity's response to the scrutiny.

Mandatory

17AG(3)(a) 69 Information on judicial decisions and decisions of

administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information

Commissioner that may have a significant effect on the

operations of the entity.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AG(3)(b) 69 Information on any reports on operations of the entity by the

Auditor-General (other than report under section 43 of the

Act), a Parliamentary Committee, or the Commonwealth

Ombudsman.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AG(3)(c) n/a Information on any capability reviews on the entity that were

released during the period.

If applicable,

Mandatory

Management of Human Resources

17AG(4)(a) 76-80 An assessment of the entity’s effectiveness in managing and

developing employees to achieve entity objectives.

Mandatory

17AG(4)(aa) 80-82 Statistics on the entity’s employees on an ongoing and non-

ongoing basis, including the following:

(a) statistics on full-time employees;

Mandatory

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 147

(b) statistics on part-time employees;

(c) statistics on gender;

(d) statistics on staff location.

17AG(4)(b) 80-82 Statistics on the entity’s APS employees on an ongoing and

non-ongoing basis; including the following:

Statistics on staffing classification level;

Statistics on full-time employees;

Statistics on part-time employees;

Statistics on gender;

Statistics on staff location;

Statistics on employees who identify as Indigenous.

Mandatory

17AG(4)(c) 78 Information on any enterprise agreements, individual flexibility

arrangements, Australian workplace agreements, common law

contracts and determinations under subsection 24(1) of the

Public Service Act 1999.

Mandatory

17AG(4)(c)(i) 78 Information on the number of SES and non-SES employees

covered by agreements etc identified in paragraph 17AG(4)(c).

Mandatory

17AG(4)(c)(ii) 82 The salary ranges available for APS employees by

classification level.

Mandatory

17AG(4)(c)(iii) 82 A description of non-salary benefits provided to employees. Mandatory

17AG(4)(d)(i) n/a Information on the number of employees at each classification

level who received performance pay.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AG(4)(d)(ii) n/a Information on aggregate amounts of performance pay at each

classification level.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AG(4)(d)(iii) n/a Information on the average amount of performance payment,

and range of such payments, at each classification level.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AG(4)(d)(iv) n/a Information on aggregate amount of performance payments. If applicable,

Mandatory

Assets Management

17AG(5) n/a An assessment of effectiveness of assets management where

asset management is a significant part of the entity’s activities.

If applicable,

Mandatory

Purchasing

17AG(6) 74 An assessment of entity performance against the

Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Mandatory

Consultants

17AG(7)(a) 140 A summary statement detailing the number of new contracts

engaging consultants entered into during the period; the total

actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts entered

into during the period (inclusive of GST); the number of

ongoing consultancy contracts that were entered into during a

previous reporting period; and the total actual expenditure in

the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts

(inclusive of GST).

Mandatory

17AG(7)(b) 140 A statement that

“During [reporting period], [specified number] new consultancy

contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure

of $[specified million]. In addition, [specified number] ongoing

consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving

total actual expenditure of $[specified million]”.

Mandatory

17AG(7)(c) 140 A summary of the policies and procedures for selecting and

engaging consultants and the main categories of purposes for

which consultants were selected and engaged.

Mandatory

17AG(7)(d) 140 A statement that

“Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure

on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of

contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender

website.”

Mandatory

Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses

17AG(8) 75 If an entity entered into a contract with a value of more than

$100 000 (inclusive of GST) and the contract did not provide

the Auditor-General with access to the contractor’s premises,

If applicable,

Mandatory

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

148

the report must include the name of the contractor, purpose

and value of the contract, and the reason why a clause

allowing access was not included in the contract.

Exempt contracts

17AG(9) 75 If an entity entered into a contract or there is a standing offer

with a value greater than $10 000 (inclusive of GST) which

has been exempted from being published in AusTender

because it would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act,

the annual report must include a statement that the contract or

standing offer has been exempted, and the value of the

contract or standing offer, to the extent that doing so does not

disclose the exempt matters.

If applicable,

Mandatory

Small business

17AG(10)(a) 140 A statement that

“[Name of entity] supports small business participation in the

Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and

Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation

statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s

website.”

Mandatory

17AG(10)(b) 140 An outline of the ways in which the procurement practices of

the entity support small and medium enterprises.

Mandatory

17AG(10)(c) n/a If the entity is considered by the Department administered by

the Finance Minister as material in nature-a statement that

“[Name of entity] recognises the importance of ensuring that

small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey

of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are

available on the Treasury’s website.”

If applicable,

Mandatory

Financial Statements

17AD(e) 87-122 Inclusion of the annual financial statements in accordance with

subsection 43(4) of the Act.

Mandatory

Executive Remuneration

17AD(da) 143-144 Information about executive remuneration in accordance with

Subdivision C of Division 3A of Part 2-3 of the Rule.

Mandatory

17AD(f) Other Mandatory Information

17AH(1)(a)(i) 75 If the entity conducted advertising campaigns, a statement that

“During [reporting period], the [name of entity] conducted the

following advertising campaigns: [name of advertising

campaigns undertaken]. Further information on those

advertising campaigns is available at [address of entity’s

website] and in the reports on Australian Government

advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those

reports are available on the Department of Finance’s website.”

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AH(1)(a)(ii) 75 If the entity did not conduct advertising campaigns, a

statement to that effect.

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AH(1)(b) 75 A statement that

“Information on grants awarded by [name of entity] during

[reporting period] is available at [address of entity’s website].”

If applicable,

Mandatory

17AH(1)(c) 138 Outline of mechanisms of disability reporting, including

reference to website for further information.

Mandatory

17AH(1)(d) 132 Website reference to where the entity’s Information Publication

Scheme statement pursuant to Part II of FOI Act can be found.

Mandatory

17AH(1)(e) n/a Correction of material errors in previous annual report. If applicable,

mandatory

17AH(2) 12-65 Information required by other legislation - Fisheries

Administration Act 1991

Mandatory

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PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 149

Glossary

Australian Fishing Zone

Under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, the Australian fishing zone means:

(a) the waters adjacent to Australia within the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone

adjacent to the coast of Australia; and

(b) the waters adjacent to each external territory within the outer limits of the exclusive

economic zone adjacent to the coast of the external Territory;

but does not include:

• coastal waters of, or waters within the limits of, a State or internal Territory; or

• waters that are excepted waters.

Biomass

Total weight of a stock or a component of a stock.

Biomass limit reference point

The point beyond which the risk to the stock is regarded as unacceptably high.

Bycatch

Species taken incidentally in a fishery where other species are the target, and which are

always discarded.

Byproduct

Any part of the catch that is kept or sold by the fisher but is not the target species.

Demersal

Found on or near the sea floor (c.f. Pelagic).

Discard

Any part of the catch returned to the sea, whether dead or alive.

Effort

A measure of the resources used to harvest a fishery’s stocks. The measure of effort

appropriate for a fishery depends on the methods used and the management arrangements.

Common measures include the number of vessels, the number of hooks set or the number

of fishing days.

Electronic monitoring

Electronic monitoring uses sensors and cameras to monitor and record information on

fishing activity in a targeted way. Sensor data and video footage is analysed retrospectively

to provide information and verify logbooks according to the needs identified for that fishery.

Fisheries Management Act 1991

One of the two main pieces of legislation (along with the Fisheries Administration Act 1991)

that detail AFMA’s responsibilities and powers.

Fishing concession

A Statutory Fishing Right, or a fishing permit, or a foreign fishing boat licence granted under

the provisions of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

150

Fishing permit

A type of fishing concession granted under Section 32 of the Fisheries Management Act

1991 to a person, authorising the use of a specified Australian boat by that person, or a

person acting on that person’s behalf, for fishing in a specified area of the Australian Fishing

Zone or a specified fishery for specified species, using specified equipment.

Fishing season

The period during which a fishery can be accessed by fishers.

Gillnet

Type of passive fishing gear consisting of panels of net held vertically in the water column, in

contact with the seabed, such that fish attempting to swim through the net are entangled.

The mesh size of the net determines the size range of fish caught, as smaller fish can swim

through the meshes and larger fish are not enmeshed.

GoFish

GoFish is AFMA’s online business facility for fishers to submit their applications, view their

record of fishing concessions as held by us, keep their contact details up to date, view quota

and catch information, receive messages from AFMA and monitor progress of applications

lodged with AFMA.

Harvest strategy

Strategy outlining how the catch in a fishery will be adjusted from year to year depending on

the size of stock, the economic or social conditions of the fishery, conditions of other

interdependent stocks or species, and uncertainty of biological knowledge. Well-managed

fisheries have an unambiguous (explicit and quantitative) harvest strategy that is robust to

the unpredictable biological fluctuations to which the stock may be subject.

Incidental catch

Any part of the catch that is not the target species, including bycatch and by-product.

Individual transferable quotas

Individual portions of a total allowable catch - units of quota - that allow the holder to catch

that portion of the total allowable catch each season. The weight value of the individual

transferable quotas changes in proportion to changes in the total allowable catch set for a

species each season.

Individual transferable quotas are fully tradeable and can be sold or leased to other fishers.

Key commercial species

A species that is, or has been, specifically targeted and is, or has been, a significant

component of a fishery.

Logbook

Official record of catch-and-effort data completed by fishers. In many fisheries, a licence

condition makes the return of logbooks mandatory.

Longline

Fishing gear in which short lines (branch lines or droppers) carrying hooks are attached to a

longer main line at regular intervals. Pelagic longlines are suspended horizontally at a

predetermined depth with the help of surface floats. The main lines can be as long as 100

kilometres and have several thousand hooks. Droppers on demersal longlines (set at the

seabed with weights) are usually more closely spaced.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 151

Maximum economic yield

The sustainable catch or effort level for a commercial fishery that allows net economic

returns to be maximised. Note that for most practical discount rates and fishing costs

maximum economic yield will imply that the equilibrium stock of fish is larger than that

associated with maximum sustainable yield. In this sense maximum economic yield is more

environmentally conservative than maximum sustainable yield and should in principle help

protect the fishery from unfavourable environmental impacts that may diminish the fish

population.

Maximum sustainable yield

The maximum average annual catch that can be removed from a stock over an indefinite

period under prevailing environmental conditions.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) box

The area of the Australian Fishing Zone where traditional fishing by Indonesian nationals is

permitted.

Nautical mile

A unit of distance derived from the angular measurement of one minute of arc of latitude, but

standardised by international agreement as 1852 metres.

Net economic returns

A fishery net economic returns over a particular period are equal to fishing revenue less

fishing costs.

Non target species

Species that are unintentionally taken by a fisher or not routinely assessed for fisheries

management. See also Bycatch.

Offshore Constitutional Settlement

An agreement between one or more states and the Australian Government giving individual

or joint jurisdiction for a particular fishery that is in both coastal waters and the Australian

Fishing Zone.

When no Offshore Constitutional Settlement agreement has been reached, the fishery

remains under the jurisdiction of the state out to three nautical miles, and of the Australian

Government from three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles.

Output controls

Restrictions imposed on the quantity of fish that can be taken from a fishery within a

specified period of time. This can be by either a competitive total allowable catch or a total

allowable catch allocated to participants as individual transferable quotas.

Overfished

A fish stock with a biomass below the biomass limit reference point. ‘Not overfished’ implies

that the stock is not below the threshold, and is now used in place of the status classification

of ‘fully fished’ or ‘underfished’.

Overfishing

A fish stock that is subject to fishing mortality that exceeds the fishing mortality reference

point.

Pelagic fish

Inhabiting surface waters rather than the sea floor: usually applied to free swimming species

such as tunas and sharks.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

152

Precautionary principle

A principle asserting that a degree of scientific uncertainty should not be used as a reason

for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation in situations where there are

threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage.

Quota

Amount of catch allocated to a fishery as a whole (total allowable catch) or to an individual

fisher or company (individual transferable quota).

Quota management

A method of management based on output controls that allocates the total allowable catch

among eligible operators as shares in the annual total allowable catch.

Reference point

An indicator of the level of fishing (or stock size), used as a benchmark for interpreting the

results of an assessment.

Statutory Fishing Rights

Rights granted under Section 21 of the Fisheries Management Act 1991. The nature of

Statutory Fishing Rights in a fishery is detailed in the plan of management that creates those

rights. A Statutory Fishing Right may be a right to use a boat, a unit of fishing gear or a

quantity of catch, or other rights as identified in the management plan.

Species

Members of a species of fish that can breed with one another and produce fertile (capable of

reproducing) offspring. In this way, a species maintains its ‘separateness’ from other

species; for example, the yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna are two distinct tuna species

whereas the general term ‘tuna’ includes all tuna species.

Stock

A functionally discrete population of a species that is largely distinct from other populations

of the same species. Such a population may be regarded as a separate entity for

management or assessment purposes. Some species form a single stock (e.g. southern

bluefin tuna) while others form several stocks (e.g. albacore tuna in the Pacific Ocean are

divided up into separate Northern Pacific and Southern Pacific stocks).

Targeting

Fishing selectively for particular species or sizes of fish.

Target species

The species being actively sought by fishers.

Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority

An authority comprising the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Water

Resources (Chairperson), the Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

and the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority. The authority is responsible for

monitoring the condition of the jointly managed fisheries in the Torres Strait and the

formulation of policies and plans for their management.

Total allowable catch

The amount of fish of a particular species that can be taken from a fishery in a prescribed

period. Total allowable catches are set for fish species managed either through individual

transferable quotas or through competitive total allowable catches.

ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 153

Uncertain

Status of a fish stock for which there is inadequate or inappropriate information to make a

reliable assessment.

Undercatch and overcatch

Undercatch and overcatch provide for ‘carry over’ or ‘carry under’ of an amount of end of

season quota between fishing seasons thereby allowing fishers the flexibility to catch a

certain amount of fish over or under their quota, and debit or credit this to or from the

following season’s quota.

Vessel monitoring system

Electronic device that transmits the identity and location of a vessel.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

154

Index

A

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

employees, 78, 84

accidents and incidents, workplace, 136-137

Accountable Authority statement, 12

act of grace payments, 85

advertising campaigns, 77

AFMA at a glance, 7

AFMA’s Enterprise Agreement 2016, 79-80

Agency Data Capture project, 28-29, 75-76

feature story, 33

analysis of performance by corporate

goal, 1-3, 16, 18-19, 20-26, 28-33

Annual Operational Plan, 72

annual performance statement, 12-33

overview, 13-14

quality assurance audit, 70

Application Programming Interfaces, 28, 33, 75

APS Values and Code of Conduct, 80

aquaculture broodstock, demand for, 45

Aquarium Sector Harvest Strategy, 39

Arrow Squid Fishery Harvest Strategy, 55

Assistance for Severely Affected Regions

(Special Appropriation) (Coronavirus

Economic Response Package) Bill 2020, 85

Assistant Minister for Forestry and

Fisheries, 6, 8

Audit and Risk Committee, 70, 71, 73, 76

membership and remuneration, 127-128

permanent advisors, 127

role and function, 127

Auditor-General, access clause, 77

AusTender, 77, 141

Australia-France Cooperative Agreement, 25

Australian Border Force, 21, 24

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and

Resource Economics and Sciences

(ABARES), 18, 35, 44, 57, 66, 129

Fishery Status Reports 2020, 1, 35

Australian Cyber Security Centre, 70, 75

Essential Eight mitigating strategies,

70, 130

Australian Exclusive Economic Zone, 24, 25

Australian Fishing Zone, 6, 8, 20, 24-25, 75

Australian National Audit Office, 71

independent audit report, 87-88

Australian Public Service Employee Census,

79

Australian Sea Lions, risk assessment, 16

Australian Society for Fish Biology

Conference, participation in, 31

B

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, 2

estimated catch, 37

performance report, 37-38

status of stock, 37-38

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Harvest Strategy, 37

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Management Advisory Committee, 132-133

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Management Plan 2002, 37

Bellchambers Barrett, internal auditors, 70

bilateral operations, 25

biological material, disposal restrictions,

16, 34, 54

boat inspections, 21, 26

desktop audits, 3, 21

bullying and harassment prevention

training, 80

Business Continuity Plan, 3, 74

bycatch management, 1, 21, 22, 34, 137

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Fishery, 62-63

Northern Prawn Fishery, 44

reporting, 14, 15, 16, 53

Small Pelagic Fishery, 49

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and

Shark Fishery, 53-54

see also Commonwealth Bycatch Policy

bycatch mishandling, 21, 22; see also

bycatch management

bycatch policy; see Commonwealth

Bycatch Policy

C

Campfire (intranet social channel), 79, 136

capacity development, regional, 6, 8, 24, 25, 26

Catch Disposal Records, 22, 35

digital submission, 29, 33, 75

Chairman’s review, 1-6

Chief Executive Officer

as accountable authority, 12, 69

remuneration, 145-146

review, 1-6

role and responsibilities, 69

classification, staff, 82-84

client service charter, 9, 32

climate change, impact on fisheries, 1-2, 56-57

Close-Kin Mark-Recapture genetic

methods, 53

closure monitoring program, 23

co-management arrangements, 2-3, 6,

13, 29, 34

Code of Conduct, APS, 80

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 155

Comcare, 137

Commission

meeting attendance, 126

membership, 125-126

remuneration, 145-146

role and responsibilities, 8, 69, 125

Commission for Conservation of Antarctic

Marine Living Resources, 25, 62, 63

Commission for the Conservation of

Southern Bluefin Tuna, 58, 59

Commission for the Conservation of

Southern Bluefin Tuna Extended

Scientific Committee, 59

Commonwealth Bycatch Policy, 16, 34,

42, 44; see also bycatch management

Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions, 14, 20, 22

Commonwealth Fisheries Association, 30, 129

Commonwealth Fisheries Infringement

Notices, 21

Commonwealth Fisheries Resource

Sharing Framework, 34

Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy,

1, 16, 17, 18, 34, 42, 48, 53, 55

Commonwealth Ombudsman, 71

Commonwealth Procurement Rules, 76;

see also purchasing

Commonwealth Risk Management Policy, 73

Commonwealth South East Trawl Sector, 52;

see also Commonwealth Trawl Sector

Commonwealth Trawl Sector, 16, 29, 52,

53-54

communication and education programs,

21-22

complaints, client, 32

compliance and enforcement measures,

2, 3, 6, 13, 14, 57, 69

performance overview, 20-26

Compliance with Commonwealth fisheries

laws and policies and relevant

international fishing obligations and

standards (corporate goal), 13, 14

analysis of performance, 2, 20-26

performance indicators, 14, 20

purpose, 20

result, 20

Conservation and Management Measures

(WCPFC), 26

consultancy services, 141

contact, agency, ii

contracts, 77

Coral Sea Fishery

estimated catch, 39

performance report, 39-40

corporate governance, 69-71

Corporate Plan 2020-23, 6

corporate planning and reporting

framework, 71-73

cost recovery processes, 9, 14, 27, 28

COVID-19

effect on pay increases, 79

employee support relating to, 3-4,

78-79, 135-136

impact on AFMA operations, 3-4, 21,

24, 25, 31, 53, 73, 75

feature story, 5

impact on financial results, 85, 86

impact on fisheries, 3-4, 9, 59, 85

CSIRO, 34, 129

climate adaptation project, 1

ecological risk assessments, 16

cyber security management, 70, 75-76, 130

D

data and information management, 71,

75-76, 129-130; see also Agency Data

Capture project

Data and Information Management

Committee, 71, 129-130

data disclosure authorisation, delegation

of, 2-3, 34

data integration project, 28-29, 33, 75-76

Data Strategy, 76

Declining Indicators Project (FRDC), 54

Deliver efficient, cost-effective and

accountable management of

Commonwealth fisheries resources

(corporate goal), 13, 14

analysis of performance, 2-3, 28-33

performance indicators, 14, 27

purpose, 27

result, 27

Department of Agriculture, Water and

the Environment, 16, 17, 30, 34, 58,

60, 81-82, 129

as portfolio department, 8

reporting requirements, 15

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 25

Department of Home Affairs, 29, 75

desktop audits, conduct of, 3, 21

deterrence program operations, 21

Digital 2020 Policy, initiatives under, 77

digital transformation project, 28, 33, 76

disability reporting requirements, 140

disclosure of interests, 69

discretionary grants, administration, 77

diversity and inclusion, workplace, 78, 82, 84

dolphin mitigation strategies, 34, 49

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

156

E

e-fish: An integrated data capture and

sharing project, completion of, 3, 28, 75

e-monitoring requirements, 23, 57, 60-61

Earth Hour, participation in, 77

East Coast Deepwater Trawl sector, 29, 52

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery, 18, 34

data collection, 29

estimated catch, 56

performance report, 56-57

status of stocks, 56-57

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Harvest

Strategy, 57

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Management Plan 2010, 56, 57

Ecological Risk Assessments, 16, 53-54,

57, 137, 139

Ecological Risk Management system, 13,

14, 15, 16, 139; see also Ecological Risk

Assessments

Ecological Risk Management Working

Group, 16

ecological sustainability, as key focus, 1,

8-9, 12-13, 14, 15-16

ecologically sustainable development and

environmental performance report, 137-139

economic returns, maximising, 2, 13, 14, 17-19

electronic monitoring; see e-monitoring

requirements

Employee Assistance Program, 78

employee satisfaction, decline in, 79

employee statistics, 78, 80, 82-84

employment conditions, 79-80

enabling legislation, 8, 69

energy consumption, agency, 77

Enterprise Agreement, 79-80

Environment Protection and Biodiversity

Conservation Act 1999, 5, 49, 54, 58

fisheries accreditation requirements

under, 138-139

environmental reporting, 77-78, 137-139

estimated catch totals, data sources for, 35

ethical standards, agency, 80

Executive

membership, 127

role and functions, 126

exempt contracts, 77

Expenses by Outcomes, 144

Exploratory Fishing Policy, development

of, 2, 19

external reviews

fisheries, 41, 44, 49, 54, 57, 59, 63

Observer Program, 67, 70

external scrutiny, 71

F

Facebook page, agency, 21, 27, 31

feature stories

Agency Data Capture - Simplifying

data sharing, 33

Observer Program Work Health and

Safety Activities, 67

Operation Nasse 2019, 26

Placement of an observer during

COVID-19, 5

female employees, 78, 82-84

Finance Law, compliance, 76

financial performance reports and

statements, 85-124

independent audit report, 87-88

financial results, summary, 85-86

First Nations Peoples, engagement with, 30

First People Acknowledgement Guide, 30

fish receiver inspections, 21

Fisheries Administration Act 1991, 8, 12,

25, 69, 71

Fisheries Compliance and Enforcement

certification programme, 25

Fisheries Levy (Torres Strait Prawn

Fishery) Amendment (Levy Amount)

Regulations 2019, 85

Fisheries Management Act 1991, 8, 46

breaches of, 23

Fisheries Management (Bass Strait

Central Zone Scallop Fishery)

Regulation 2002, 37

Fisheries Management Paper 5,

Exploration of Fish Resources, 17, 30

Fisheries Management Regulations 1992, 46

Fisheries Research and Development

Corporation, 3, 28, 53, 54, 129

fishery harvest strategies; see

Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy

Fishery Reports, 34-68

Fishery Status Reports 2020, 1, 35

fishing gear, retrieval and disposal

arrangements, 25

Fishing Levy Amendment (2019-20 Levy

Amounts) Regulations 2019, 85

flexible working arrangements, facilitation

of, 77, 79-80, 82

foreign fishing vessels, illegal; see illegal,

unreported and unregulated vessels

Forum Fisheries Agency, 25

France, agreement with, 25

fraud awareness training, 80

Fraud Control Framework, 74-75

Fraud Control Plan, 74

Fraud Control Policy, 74

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 157

Freedom of Information Act 1982, 77, 134

Freedom of Information Reporting, 134

full time employees, 82-83

fur seals, risk assessment, 16

Future Leaders Program, 82

G

gender statistics, 78, 82-84

Gillnet Hook and Trap Sector, 52, 54

glossary, 151-155

GoFish, 31, 32

Graduate Development Program, 81-82

Great Australian Bight Management

Advisory Committee, 131-132

Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector, 52,

53-54

gross value of production, Commonwealth

fisheries, 1, 35, 49

H

Harvest Strategy Policy; see

Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy

health and safety, workplace; see work

health and safety management

health and safety initiatives, 135-136

Health and Safety Plan, Observer

Program, 67

Health and Wellbeing Hub, 136

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Fishery, 5

bycatch management, 62-63

estimated catch, 62

performance report, 62-63

status of stock, 62

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Fishery Management Plan 2002, 62

High Sea Permits, performance report, 64

I

ICT Disaster Recovery Plan, 74

ICT Strategic Plan, 28, 75

audit of, 60

implementation of initiatives, 75-76

review, 129

illegal, unreported and unregulated vessels

disposal of, 14, 20, 24

management, 2, 6, 8, 14, 24-25

trends in apprehensions, 2, 24

incidents and accidents, workplace, 136-137

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, 60

Indigenous employees, 78, 84

Indigenous engagement, guidelines, 30

Indigenous fishers, access to

Commonwealth fisheries, 13, 34

individual flexibility agreements, 79-80

Indonesian fishing vessels, apprehension

of, 2, 24

Information Publication Scheme, 133

infringement notices, Commonwealth

fisheries, 21

internal scrutiny, 70-71

international compliance, 24-25, 69

International Compliance and

Engagement Programme 2020-22, 24

international fisheries matters,

responsibility for, 8, 13, 24-25, 69

K

key management personnel remuneration,

121, 145-146

key performance indicators; see

performance indicators

L

L’Astrolabe, (French Naval Ship), patrol on, 25

leadership development program, 81

learning and development, staff, 70, 79, 80, 81

letter of transmittal, vi

Levy Relief Package, 9, 85

list of requirements - non-corporate

Commonwealth entities, 147-150

logbooks

digital, 28-29, 33

verification, 53, 57, 60-61, 75

M

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

estimated catch, 41

performance report, 41

Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

Management Plan 2006, 41

male employees, 82-84

Management Advisory Committees, 19,

30, 38, 48, 55, 62

meetings and memberships, 131-133

management and accountability, 69-84

Management of Commonwealth fisheries

consistent with the principles of

ecologically sustainable development

(corporate goal), 12, 14

analysis of performance, 1-2, 16

performance indicators, 14, 15

purpose, 15

result, 15

marine mammals, risk assessments, 16,

57; see also dolphin mitigation strategies

Marine Stewardship Council, conduct of

external reviews, 41, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

158

Maritime Border Command, 24, 25

Maritime Safety Authority, 25

Mauritius, collaboration with, 5

Maximum net economic returns to the

Australian community from the

management of Commonwealth fisheries

(corporate goal), 13, 14

analysis of performance, 2, 18-19

performance indicators, 14, 17-18

purpose, 17

result, 17-18

Minister for Agriculture, as responsible

minister, 8

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and

Emergency Management, as responsible

minister, 8, 69

multilateral operations, 25, 26

N

National Australian Built Environment

Rating System, 77

National Compliance Operations and

Enforcement Policy, 20

National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, 140

New Zealand, multilateral operations with,

25, 26

non-compliance matters, reporting of, 76

non-corporate statutory body, AFMA as, 69

non-English speaking background

employees, 78

non-ongoing employees, 78, 83

non-operational fisheries, report on, 65-66

Norfolk Island Fishery, 65

Norfolk Island Offshore Demersal Finfish

Fishery, 65

Norfolk Island Regional Council, 65

North West Slope Trawl Fishery

estimated catch, 46

performance report, 46-47

Northern Prawn Fishery, 2, 18, 34

emerging issues, 45

estimated catch, 42

performance report, 42-45

status of stocks, 42-44

Northern Prawn Fishery Bycatch Strategy

2015-18, 44

Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd,

co-management partnership, 2-3, 29, 34

Northern Prawn Fishery Management

Plan 1995, 42

Northern Prawn Fishery Surveys, 34

Northern Prawn Management Advisory

Committee, 132

notifiable incidents, 137

O

Observer Program

feature stories, 5, 67

performance audit, 70

Work Health and Safety Activities, 67

office closures, COVID-19 response, 3-4, 74

office locations, 11, 78, 82-83

Offshore Constitutional Settlement agreements, 8

ongoing employees, 78, 82-83

Operation Nasse, 25

feature story, 26

organisational structure, 10

outcome and program, 12-13

outlook, 6

overview, 8-11

P

Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, 25

Pacific Maritime Security Program, 25

Pacific Ocean, surveillance and

monitoring, 25, 26

Pacific Strategy (DFAT), 25

pandemic, impact on operations; see COVID-19

Pandemic Incident Management Team, 3, 78

Pandemic Response Plan, 3, 74

Parks Australia, 25

part time employees, 82-83

people management, 78-84

people with disability, 84; see also

disability reporting requirements

performance and achievements, overview, 1-3;

see also annual performance statement

performance criteria, 14, 15, 17, 20, 27

performance indicators, 14, 15, 17-18, 20, 27

performance management scheme, staff, 80

performance reviews, conduct of, 69, 72

performance statement; see annual

performance statement

Portfolio Budget Statements, 12, 72

professional development, 81; see also

training, staff

Project Management Framework, 75

prosecutions, 23, 24

domestic, 23

protected or prohibited species, retention

of, 21, 22; see also Threatened

Endangered and Protected species

public consultation, 2, 30; see also

Management Advisory Committees;

Resource Assessment Groups

Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Act 2013, 8, 69, 71, 85

reporting requirements, vi, 1, 12, 71, 76

PART 7: GLOSSARY AND INDEXES • 159

Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability (Non-corporate

Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting)

Rule 2014, vi

Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Rule 2014, vi, 71, 74, 76

Public Service Act 1999, 8, 69, 80

purchasing, 76-77, 142

purpose, agency, 12

‘#putfishonyourdish’ Christmas

campaign, 30, 31

Q

Queensland Water Police, 21

quota evasion, 3, 22

quota reconciliation requirements, 23

R

recreational fishers, access to

Commonwealth fisheries, 13, 34, 58-59

regional capacity development, 6, 8, 24, 25, 26

Regional Fisheries Management

Organisations, 24

Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre, 25

remuneration, 145-146

Audit and Risk Committee members,

127-128

key management personnel, 121, 145-146

Research Committee

advisors and observers, 128-129

membership, 128

role and function, 128

Resource Assessment Groups, 38, 41, 48,

53, 54, 55, 62

consultations with, 30, 52

responsible minister, 8, 69

rewards and recognition, 80-81

Risk Appetite Statement, 73

Risk Management Committee, 71, 73

Risk Management Framework, 73-74

Risk Management Guidelines, 73

Risk Management Policy, 73

risk registers, development of, 73

role and functions, agency, 8-9

Royal Australian Navy, 24

S

salaries, non SES classifications, 84; see

also remuneration

satisfaction, staff, decline in, 79

Scalefish Hook Sector, 52

Scallop Management Advisory Group, 38

Scallop Resource Assessment Group, 38

Security Governance Committee

membership, 130

Seine and Trawl Advisory Group,

formation of, 29

Senate Estimates process, 71

SeSAFE Training, 67

Shark Gillnet Sector, 52

Shark Hook Sector, 52

Shark Resource Assessment Group, 54

Skipjack Tuna Fishery, 65

small and medium enterprises, support for,

142

Small Pelagic Fishery

bycatch management, 49

estimated catch, 48

performance report, 48-49

Small Pelagic Fishery Dolphin Mitigation

Strategy, 49

Small Pelagic Fishery Harvest Strategy, 48

Small Pelagic Fishery Management Plan

2009, 48

Small Pelagic Fishery Resource

Assessment Group, 48

social media presence, agency, 21, 27, 30-31

South East Management Advisory

Committee, 48, 55, 133

South East Trawl Fishing Industry

Association, co-management

arrangements, 29

South East trawl industry, 29, 34

South Pacific Regional Fisheries

Management Organisation, 64, 66

South Tasman Rise Fishery, 66

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and

Shark Fishery, 18, 29, 34

bycatch management, 53-54

estimated catch, 50

performance report, 52-54

status of stocks, 50-51, 52-53

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Fishery Harvest Strategy (FRDC), 54

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Fishery Management Plan 2003, 53

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Fishery Resource Assessment Group, 53

Southern and Eastern Scalefish and

Shark Fishery Strategic Monitoring and

Review Project (FRDC), 54

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

estimated catch, 58

performance report, 58-59

status of stocks, 58, 59

Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Management Plan 1995, 58

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

160

Southern Bluefin Tuna Management

Advisory Committee, 132

Southern Eastern Scalefish and Shark

Fishery trawl sector, 16

Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries

Agreement, 64, 66

Southern Ocean, monitoring, 5, 25, 67

Southern Squid Jig Fishery Management

Plan 2005, 55

Southern Squid Jig Fishery performance

report, 55

Squid Resource Assessment Group, 55

staff engagement, 79

stakeholder engagement, 9, 28-32

Stakeholder Survey, 31-32

standing committees, management, 70-71,

129-130

state/territory governments, agreements;

see Offshore Constitutional Settlement

agreements

Statutory Fisheries Management Plans, 18

statutory fishing rights, 17, 37, 43, 45, 48, 58

Strategic Delivery Committee, 70, 75, 129

Strategic Internal Audit Plan, 70

structure, organisational, 10

studies assistance program, 81

Sub-Antarctic Fisheries Resource

Assessment Group, 41

Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory

Committee, 62, 133

Sub-Antarctic Resource Assessment Group, 62

sustainability; see ecological

sustainability, as key focus

T

Threatened Endangered and Protected

species, 14, 15, 16, 22, 137

Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, 8, 9, 22, 69

Torres Strait Fishery, compliance

management program, 21-22

Torres Strait Islander employees, 78, 84

Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority, 9

Total Resources and Total Payments, 143

Trackwell (vessel monitoring provider), 29, 75

training, staff, 70, 79, 80; see also

professional development

transmittal letter, vi

Trap Sector, 52

Tropical Tuna Management Advisory

Committee, 131

Tuna Australia, co-management

arrangement with, 29

Twitter account, 27

U

United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, 8

United States of America, multilateral

operations with, 25, 26

Upper-Slope Dogfish Management Strategy, 54

V

values, agency, 9

vehicle arrangements, agency, 77-78

vessel monitoring system, 3, 22-23, 29, 31

voluntary compliance, domestic, 2, 6

promotion of, 21, 22

W

waste management, agency, 77, 78

website, agency, 21, 27, 31, 32

Audit and Risk Committee Charter, 127

Client Service Charter, 9, 32

Management Authority Committee

membership, 131

‘Weekly Wraps’, intranet-based staff

forums, 135

wellbeing, employees; see work health

and safety management

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries

Commission, 26, 56, 57

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries

Commission Compliance Monitoring

Scheme, 57

Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery, 46-47

Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery

data collection, 29

estimated catch, 60

performance report, 60-61

status of stocks, 60

Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery

Management Plan 2005, 60

‘What’s my scientific name’ campaign, 30

wildlife trade operations, approved, 45, 46,

49, 54, 58, 139

Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 135, 136, 137

Work Health and Safety Committee, 135

work health and safety management, 135-137

home workstation assessments, 78

Observer Program, 67

training, 80

workforce statistics, 78, 80, 82-84

working from home arrangements, 3-4, 75, 78