Proposed changes to commercial reporting requirements

Better data for sustainable fisheries

The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy recognises the need for accurate, reliable and timely data for sustainable fisheries management.

Commercial fishing data informs stock assessments, which are used in management decisions.

Current reporting requirements are complicated and vary from fishery to fishery. The key problems are:

  • the use of estimated retained weights in logbooks and sale dockets makes it difficult to detect and enforce black-market activity
  • there is a lack of accurate and consistent species reporting for many fish
  • there is a reliance on hard-copy records and manual data entry, which is costly and slow, and increases the number of errors.

As part of the Fisheries Regulation 2008 consultation, we are proposing to standardise reporting requirements so the process becomes simpler over time, and the quality of data improves.

What the proposed changes mean for fishers

The proposed changes would be implemented over an 18-month period across all fisheries. Commercial fishers would be required to:

  • provide the same type of catch data (numbers and weights), regardless of which fishery they operate in
  • report accurate daily numbers and estimated weights of each fish species
  • make a commitment to total trip numbers for each fish species at the end of a fishing trip, and before landing the product
  • report an accurate number of containers (rather than individual fish) for some high-volume fisheries such as mullet or prawns
  • submit a catch disposal record that contains accurate trip weight data for individual fish species, and disposal information (fishers would need access to certified scales when removing fish from their vessel)
  • complete sales dockets with accurate weights for individual fish species after the first point of sale.

Eventually, commercial fishers would also be required to submit data via an electronic reporting system. An electronic app would be developed and rolled out over a 12-month period, before becoming mandatory.

This means that fishers would need access to a ‘smart’ mobile phone or tablet that can operate the app.

While this system is being developed, new versions of the current paper logbooks may be provided.

Proposed time lines

As these proposed changes would have significant impacts on commercial fishers, they would be implemented over a period of 18 months.

  • In 2019, there would be no changes to the current reporting requirements.
  • From January 2020, all commercial fishers reporting quota and total allowable commercial catch species would be required to follow the same reporting process (reporting requirements for other species would not change, although fishers could use an electronic app instead of a paper logbook).
  • From July 2020, all fisheries would follow the same reporting process, using an electronic app instead of a paper logbook (by January 2021 all commercial fishers would be required to submit data to Fisheries Queensland using an electronic app).

Proposed process from January 2020

Quota and total allowable commercial catch species

Note: Reporting requirements for other species would not change.

  1. Submit a pre-trip notification via AIVR (Automated Integrated Voice Response) or electronic app
  2. Record daily commitment to accurate numbers and estimated weights in a logbook (paper logbook or app)
  3. Commit to accurate trip numbers for individual species prior to landing (AIVR or app)
  4. Submit an accurate weights notice for individual species (not quota groupings) when fish are removed from the vessel (AIVR or app)
  5. Complete a catch disposal record at species level (not quota groupings) with accurate weights and accurate numbers at the point of disposal (paper catch disposal record or app)
  6. Complete sales dockets according to legislation (accurate weights for all sales—wholesale and retail)
  7. Send logbook and catch disposal record to Fisheries Queensland (via post within seven business days after fishing, or daily via app).

Proposed process from January 2021

All fisheries

  1. Submit a pre-trip notification via electronic app
  2. Record daily commitment to accurate numbers and estimated weights (app)
  3. Commit to accurate trip numbers for individual species prior to landing (app)
  4. Submit an accurate weights notice for individual species when fish are removed from the vessel (app)
  5. Complete a catch disposal record at species level with accurate weights and accurate numbers at the point of disposal (app)
  6. Complete sales dockets according to legislation (accurate weights for all sales—wholesale and retail)
  7. Data sent instantly to Fisheries Queensland (app).

More information