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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.

All net, line and crab commercial fishing boats are required to have vessel tracking from 1st January 2019.

All trawl (T1, T2, T4, M1 symbol holders) and sea cucumber (B1 symbol holders only) fishers with existing vessel tracking will be required to pay for vessel tracking positional data from 1st January 2019.

All other fishers excluding net, line, crab, trawl (T1, T2, T4, M1) and sea cucumber fishers (B1 symbol holders) are required to have vessel tracking by 2020.

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?