Torres Strait is located between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea. It is a shallow tropical marine environment, with significant seagrass meadows in the central and western parts, and extensive coral reefs forming the northern limit of the Great Barrier Reef in the east. Scattered through the Strait are over a hundred islands, of which only 18 are currently inhabited.
Managing Torres Strait fisheries
The Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) manages commercial and traditional fisheries (turtle and dugong) in the Torres Strait Protected Zone (TSPZ).
The PZJA is comprised of three members to manage Torres Strait commercial fisheries: the Commonwealth Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture (PZJA Chair), the Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and the Chair for the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA).
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) provide management advice and carries out domestic compliance for commercial fishing in the TSPZ from the Cairns office. DAF also manages recreational and charter fishing in Torres Strait outside of the PZJA.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) implements the fisheries management arrangements in the Torres Strait fisheries. On July 1 2015 AFMA took over the PZJA licensing function from Fisheries Queensland.
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) aims to improve the lifestyle and well-being of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living in the region through the implementation of programs that address their poor socio-economic and health status.
Find more information about Torres Strait commercial fishing.