Communique 9-10 July 2018

The Marine Aquarium Fish and Queensland Coral Fisheries working group met for the second time in Brisbane on the 9 and 10 of July.

The working group accepted the previous meeting minutes and noted the progress of the meeting action items. An update of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy (the Strategy) was provided. Josh Davis from The Department of Environment and Energy provided some information about the Wildlife Trade Operation approval process for exporting fisheries and Martin Russell from Parks Australia delivered a presentation on the implementation of the Coral Sea Marine Park.

Fisheries Queensland reported on feedback received on the proposed Fisheries Act amendments and updated the working group on how the future legislation review will affect the Marine Aquarium Fish and Queensland Coral Fisheries.

The working group noted the fishery management objectives developed at the previous meeting and endorsed out of session, noting the objectives will be refined as the harvest strategy is developed.

Working group members noted the release of the harvest fisheries discussion paper and provided comments on the key issues such as aligning commercial harvest fishing licences with commercial boat fishing licences, standardising quota management across all harvest fisheries, simplifying input control rules. Some key issues to work through are the use of tenders, number of fishers to harvest per licence and expressing quota in kg. Industry identified the importance of workplace health and safety requirements when reviewing fishing rules. Industry have agreed to provide Fisheries Queensland with a formal submission.

The working group reviewed the existing Performance Measurement System and 2013 Coral Ecological Risk Assessment to inform appropriate indicators, reference points, triggers and decision rules for the development of the harvest strategy.

The working group identified a tiered approach would be suitable to manage species within the fisheries using historical catch and industry information. Possible knowledge gaps, along with monitoring and research requirements were identified and Fisheries Queensland has committed to supplying a letter of support for the FRDC coral project. Members identified that industry needs to continue to work to develop field surveys to inform the harvest strategy and to make use of the existing fisheries catch data.

The working group was concluded with a discussion around the next steps that need to be taken for transitioning the Marine Aquarium Fish and Queensland Coral Fishery to a harvest strategy framework. Industry has agreed to provide some additional data review out of session to support the harvest strategy development and Fisheries Queensland will build an initial draft out of session.

The next working group meeting is tentatively scheduled for November.

The Marine Aquarium Fish and Queensland Coral Fisheries Working Group members are: Fisheries Queensland (Chair- Kimberly Foster), commercial fishing (Darren Brighton, Alan Cousland, Alexander Doll (apology), Ryan Donnelly, Nicholas Dos Santos (apology), Daniel Kimberly, Robert Lowe, Ros Paterson, Lyle Squire), science (Morgan Pratchett) and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Randall Owens).