Update on commercial fishing in Australian Marine Parks
Commercial fishers who are currently fishing, or intend to fish, in Australian Marine Parks have been reminded to update themselves on the latest rules, as some fishing methods are not allowed in marine parks.
There are currently 22 Australian Marine Parks within Commonwealth waters off the WA coast which are managed as part of the North-west and South-west Marine Park Networks.
Class approvals outline the areas where commercial fishing can occur, the fishing methods that can be used, and the conditions that need to be followed while operating or transiting through Australian Marine Parks. Class approvals simplify regulation of marine parks by authorising a group of people undertaking the same activity, rather than requiring individual permits or licences.
Commercial fishers do not need to apply to be covered by the class approval. The only requirement is that you hold a fishing concession or licence issued by AFMA or a state fisheries agency. They also need to keep a hard or electronic copy of the class approvals on board their vessel.
Transiting is allowed through all marine park zone types. However, when transiting a zone where your fishing method is not allowed fishers are required to keep all fishing gear stowed and secured and travel at more than five knots.
It’s important that all fishers respect the rules and understand which fishing methods are allowed in each of the marine park zones prior to fishing.
If anyone witnesses or suspects there are illegal activities occurring within an Australian Marine Park, please report the activity as soon as possible. All reports are completely voluntary and anonymous, however, if you choose to include your personal details, you may be contacted to provide more information about your report. Reports can be made by phoning the Australian Marine Parks reporting hotline on 1800 852 975 where you can talk to a Marine Compliance Officer, or by an email to [email protected]
More information about commercial fishing class approvals in Australian Marine Parks can be found at https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/activities/approvals/commercial-fishing/ or by contacting [email protected].