Coral reef fin fish working group - Terms of reference

Background

The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring fisheries resources are managed in a sustainable and responsible manner that recognises the interests of all Queenslanders. A key action of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy is to improved stakeholder engagement through fishery-specific working groups.

Queensland’s Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery is a line-only fishery that targets a range of bottom-dwelling reef fish. It consists of a commercial fishery and an iconic recreational and charter fishery. The fishery operates predominantly in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with commercial and charter operators generally using smaller tender boats (dories) independently from a mother vessel. A range of management arrangements, including an individual transferable quota system for coral trout, are in place for this fishery.

Purpose of the Working Group

The Coral Reef Fin Fish and Spanish Mackerel Fishery Working Group will provide advice on the operational aspects of the management of the Queensland’s Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery (CRFF Fishery).

Objectives

  1. To review the annual commercial quota for Coral Trout;
  2. To assist with the development of a harvest strategy for the CRFF Fishery by mid-2019.
  3. To provide advice to Fisheries Queensland on operational issues and management of Queensland’s CRFF.

Role

The role of working group members is to:

  • Provide operational advice to Fisheries Queensland on particular fisheries
  • Consider information and provide advice on fishery performance (e.g catch rates, fishing power)
  • Provide advice on management actions or reforms needed to achieve the established management objectives for the fishery
  • Assist with identifying ways to best manage broader ecosystem impacts of fishing
  • Provide advice on emerging issues (e.g compliance, data, legislation)
  • Assist with disseminating factual information back to other stakeholders in the fishery

The role of Fisheries Queensland will be to:

  • Provide direction for working groups in the form of a Work Program
  • Arrange meeting times and provide logistical support for meetings
  • Distribute meeting materials to support the effective operation of the working group
  • Provide a point of communication between the working group and the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel.

Operation

The operation of the working group will consist of regular meetings both in person and by teleconference.  Fisheries Queensland will prepare the agenda and supporting documents seven (7) days ahead of each meeting and chair each meeting.

Where, appropriate separate meetings or workshops on specific issues in the coral reef fin fish fisheries may be organised by Fisheries Queensland.

To aid stakeholder engagement, separate communiques will be issued for each fishery following the working group meetings.

Within reason, out-of-session advice and review of documents may be required.

Obligations and responsibilities of members

Being a member has important obligations and responsibilities. In accepting the appointment, members must be prepared to:

  1. Contribute knowledge of and experience in Queensland’s fisheries.
  2. If requested, consult with stakeholder peers through port-level associations, regional associations, peak industry bodies and other avenues as necessary and ensure stakeholder views are considered in working group discussions
  3. Constructively participate in discussions to achieve acceptable outcomes.
  4. Respect the views expressed by other members.
  5. Act in the best interests of fishery as a whole, rather than as an advocate for any particular individual, organisation, interest group or regional interest.
  6. Avoid pursuing personal agendas or self-interest, and participate in discussion in an objective and impartial manner.
  7. Promptly advise of any conflict of interest issues that arise subsequent to appointment. Conflict of interest issues should be communicated as soon as they arise, by writing to the Chair.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure

Some information that is sensitive in nature is provided to working group members to enable them to provide the best advice to Fisheries Queensland on the specific fishery.  Given this, members are also asked to:

  • Observe confidentiality and exercise tact and discretion when dealing with sensitive issues. If a member is unsure or concerned about the disclosure to non-members, the member should seek advice from the Chair.
  • At all times act honestly, exercise care and diligence in the discharge of their duties and not make improper use of working group information. Improper use would be where a member gains an advantage either directly or indirectly (financial or otherwise) over another person or causes detriment to the working group’s work or to another person.
  • Not publish or communicate to any person, who they are not authorised to publish or communicate to, any information that comes to their knowledge or possession because they are a member of the working group.

Sitting fees

Participation on the working groups will be on a voluntary basis. No sitting fees will be paid.

Meetings and Travel costs

Members are eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses including domestic travel and accommodation costs.

Membership

Fisheries Queensland will appoint members.  Membership will be refreshed every two years to allow for rotation of different representatives and development of new industry leaders.

The composition of the working group is outlined in the table below:

Name

Representative of

Eddie Jebreen

Chair, Fisheries Queensland

Vacant

Commercial Fisher (Reef Line)

Vacant

Commercial Fisher (Reef Line)

Vacant

Commercial Fisher (Reef Line)

Vacant

Commercial Fisher (Reef line other species)

Vacant

Exporter/Buyers

Vacant

Charter Fisher

Vacant

Recreational Fisher

Vacant

Recreational Fisher

Vacant

Conservation sector

Vacant

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Vacant

Scientific expert

Tony Loader

Queensland Boating & Fisheries Patrol