This webpage has been established to assist the commercial fishing industry understand current consultation process undertaken regarding ARMA and where to find out more information. The following matters are outlined below:



If you haven’t already heard, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working hard to ensure the new fisheries legislation, the Aquatic Resources Management Act 2016 (ARMA), will come into effect on 1 November 2023.

ARMA will replace the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 (FRMA) and the Pearling Act 1990 (Pearling Act) and aims to build on current legislation, where key management frameworks from the FRMA will be retained and carried over into the new legislation. For example, existing fishery management plans will continue following ARMA implementation.

In preparation of transitioning to the new Act, DPIRD has established an ARMA Stakeholder Reference Group which includes representation from the sector bodies, Recfishwest, Aquaculture Council WA, WAFIC and Western Rock Lobster to discuss key matters involved with moving to ARMA.

WAFIC has also established an ARMA Industry Working Group, which includes a broad range of industry experts and representatives across our sector and provides WAFIC with high level industry advice to assist with our representations to government regarding ARMA related policies, subsidiary legislation, communications and engagement.

Draft ARMA based policies

Late last year, DPIRD released two draft ARMA related policies for public comment being:

  1. Objective Setting and Allocations for Aquatic Resources Under ARMA (allocation policy); and
  2. ARMA-Based Harvest Strategy Policy (harvest strategy policy).

Both documents can be found HERE

WAFIC’s ARMA Industry Working Group considered the two draft ARMA related policies in detail, and subsequently assisted WAFIC to develop and provide an extensive industry submission to DPIRD to ensure high-level industry’s concerns were represented.

DPIRD is now in the process of making final adjustments to the Allocation Policy to reflect responses to stakeholder’s submissions, which will then be provided to the Minister for Fisheries for consideration in the coming months.

The draft ARMA-Based Harvest Strategy Policy will go through a second round of consultation shortly.


In preparation of transitioning to the new Act, DPIRD has provided all sector bodies the following draft Regulations for their information and comment.

  • draft Aquatic Resources Management Regulations 2023 (draft general Regulations); and
  • draft Aquatic Resources Management (Abrolhos Islands) Regulations 2023

DPIRD have advised sector bodies that the purpose of releasing the draft Regulations is to present an opportunity for key stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the structure of the new legislation, identify any anomalies or questions regarding the transition of existing Regulations and provide feedback on areas of new policy.

Furthermore, DPIRD have recognised that the management plans for the Abrolhos Islands Reserve and Fish Habitat Protection Area will necessitate further consultation and review, which in turn is expected to drive further changes to the Regulations in coming years. In this regard, please note that the draft Regulations do not propose changes to regulation of tourism activities. These matters require further development in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Important note – unfortunately, WAFIC does not have permission to publish both sets of draft Regulations on the WAFIC website however, DPIRD have advised that they will make both copies available upon request.

As such, please email DPIRD at [email protected] if you would like to obtain a copy of the draft Regulations or if you would like to find out more information.

WAFIC’s process to provide feedback on draft regulations

WAFIC’s ARMA Industry Working Group has been briefed by DPIRD on the draft general Regulations and has subsequently provided DPIRD with a high level submission on behalf of industry.

DPIRD’s Stakeholder Reference Group have been briefed on the draft Abrolhos Regulations and it is understood the Bodies Corporate Committee were briefed and provided a submission back to DPIRD.  

Again, please email DPIRD at [email protected] if you would like to obtain a copy of the draft Regulations, or if you would like to find out more information.

How to stay up to date with ARMA

There are a number of ways you can stay up to date with ARMA, how it’s progressing towards the 1 November 2023 implementation date, and what it will mean to you as a commercial fisher, or processor.

While DPIRD is responsible for engaging and communicating with all relevant stakeholders regarding ARMA, WAFIC aims to engage with the commercial fishing sector to facilitate their understanding of the new legislation, its potential implications for our sector, as well as ensuring the industry’s views and concerns are heard and made known to government.

DPIRD engagement

DPIRD will keep stakeholders informed via the following methods:

  • DPIRD’s ‘ARMA update’ email. – To receive emails directly from DPIRD regarding the progress, activities and events related to ARMA implementation, please subscribe via THIS LINK. A copy of each ARMA update can also be found HERE on DPIRD’s website.
  • Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs) – DPIRD has developed an FAQ document regarding ARMA that is relevant to commercial fishers and processors HERE.
  • DPIRD website – DPIRD will continue to update key stakeholders on progress, activities and events related to ARMA implementation on their website HERE
  • Annual Management Meetings – DPIRD has advised they will also be engaging with the commercial sector on ARMA through fishery specific Annual Management Meetings (AMMs). Please note the remainder of the 2023 AMM schedule is close to being finalised and once completed will be published on the WAFIC website.

So, stay tuned to our monthly newsletters as that is where we will advise industry when the AMM schedule has been uploaded.

WAFIC engagement

WAFIC will primarily communicate and engage with the commercial fishing sector through the following methods:

  • WAFIC newsletter – Key ARMA-related issues, as well as opportunities for broader industry feedback regarding relevant ARMA policies and legislation will be communicated to industry through the WAFIC newsletter. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t already.
  • Fishery targeted communication – Where appropriate, you will receive email correspondence from WAFIC if there is an ARMA related issue that specifically impacts your fishery or operations.

WAFIC will continue to engage with its ARMA Industry Working Group to discuss high-level policy and legislation.

Relevant Contacts

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information, in the first instance please contact DPIRD at [email protected].

WAFIC contactLaura Orme, on [email protected] or 9432 7712 If you believe you are missing communications from WAFIC, please update your details in our online form here