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Vessel tracking

Vessel tracking on all commercial fishing boats is a commitment in the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027. Vessel tracking will be required on all commercial fishing boats by 2020 with a priority to install units on net, line and crab commercial fishing boats.

Importance of vessel tracking

The use of modern technologies like vessel tracking will help ensure the sustainability of Queensland’s fisheries. It will lead to more informed and responsive management, which will benefit the marine resources upon which many operators and regional communities are dependent.

The below table shows which fisheries will be required to have vessel tracking from 1 January 2019 and which fisheries will be required to have vessel tracking by 2020.

The below table also shows fisheries with existing vessel tracking requirements. Operators in these fisheries will be required to pay for vessel tracking positional data from 1 January 2019. Further information on this will be provided in the coming months.

Fishery symbolFisheryRequirement
A1 Aquarium fish fishery By 2020
B1 Beche-de-mer fishery Existing (pay from 1 January 2019)
C1 Crab fishery (other than spanner crab) From 1 January 2019
C2 & C3 Crab fishery (spanner crab) From 1 January 2019
D Coral fishery By 2020
K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, K6, K7, K8 Net fishery (ocean beach) From 1 January 2019
L1, L2, L3, L4, L8 Line fishery From 1 January 2019
M1 Moreton Bay trawl fishery Existing (pay from 1 January 2019)
M2 Moreton Bay trawl fishery By 2020
N1, N2, N3, N4, N10, N11, N12, N13 Net fishery From 1 January 2019
R Crayfish and rock lobster fishery By 2020
T1 & T2 Trawl fishery Existing (pay from 1 January 2019)
T4 Trawl fishery (fin fish) Existing (pay from 1 January 2019)
T5, T6, T7, T8, T9 Trawl fishery (river and inshore) By 2020

Remaining fisheries listed in the table below are not required to have vessel tracking.

Fishery symbolRequirement
P Pearl fishery
A2 Aquarium fish fishery
E Eel fishery (adults)
F Shell fishery
G Shell grit fishery
H Star sand fishery
J1 Trochus fishery (east coast)
JE Juvenile eel fishery
O Oyster fishery
W1 Worm fishery (beachworm)
W2 Worm fishery (bloodworm)
Y Yabby fishery

Report, policy and guidelines

A draft policy and guideline was released on 2 January 2018 and was open for consultation throughout January and February. Responses from meetings, emails, letters, surveys and phone calls in relation to the draft policy and guidelines were consolidated and developed in to a consultation report.

The final Vessel Tracking Policy and final Vessel Tracking Guidelines has now been released. The guidelines are specific to the net, line and crab fisheries, however the intention is that over time, all fisheries will operate under this guideline subject to regulatory amendments.

Vessel tracking units

Fisheries Queensland has been trialling vessel tracking units. Information on the units and the results of the trial can be found in the Results of Vessel Tracking Units Trial.

An approved unit list for net, line, crab and trawl fishers is available which must be used in conjunction with the Installation and Maintenance Standard.

Proposed rebate scheme

The government, with assistance from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, has set aside up to $3 million to help fishers pay for set up costs of vessel tracking. Fishers will be able to apply for rebates through the Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority. Details of the scheme will be released in coming months.

Where can I find  more information?