East Coast Trawl Fishery review


A review of the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery is underway, however, in light of the current review of fisheries management in Queensland, only those management options necessary for retaining export approvals will be progressed.

Picture of a Easy Coast Trawl

Photo of an east coast prawn trawler

The fishery

The East Coast Trawl Fishery is a multi-species fishery that includes the inshore and offshore otter trawl fisheries, Moreton Bay trawl fishery and the beam trawl fishery. Principal targeted species include:

  • prawns
  • bugs
  • scallops.

Current status

Fisheries Queensland will continue to progress those management reform options identified in the trawl review that are required in order to retain Commonwealth Government export approvals for the fishery. Conditions on the current export accreditation include the industry and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries taking specific action in relation to effort management in the fishery, as well as protected species interactions.

Feedback

The review commenced in late 2009 with an initial consultation phase and the formation of two stakeholder advisory groups, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Scientific Advisory Group (SAG). In addition to two rounds of regional meetings with fishers, the advisory groups have met on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2011. The advisory groups have considered the challenges facing the trawl industry that were raised at these regional meetings in context of the large scientific knowledge base that underpins the fishery.

In early 2012, all members of the advisory groups reached a consensus position that significant reform of the current management arrangements is required to ensure the ecologically and economically sustainable future of the fishery.

Frequently asked questions

Why do we need to review the trawl plan?

The Fishery (East Coast Trawl) Management Plan (1999), the main piece of legislation regulating the fishery, expired in September 2010. As a consequence of remaking this legislation, Fisheries (East Coat Trawl) Management Plan 2010, and responding to concerns raised by industry regarding the profitability of the Queensland trawl fishery, the Queensland Government has committed to a comprehensive review of trawl fishery management arrangements.

When will the review finish?

The Queensland Government is committed to a thorough review of trawl fishery management arrangements and will take the time necessary to undertake comprehensive consultation and planning around the issues. Current trawl management arrangements will remain in place, Fisheries (East Coast Trawl) Management Plan 2010, until such time as any amendments resulting from the review are introduced to legislation.

What sorts of things will the review of the trawl plan cover?

The review will be comprehensive, consider issues of sustainability, profitability and social responsibility and focus on the development of improved management arrangements. Stakeholder priorities identified through consultation will be key items for consideration.

How can I have some input into what the future management arrangement will be?

The review of the trawl plan commenced with an initial round of consultation with stakeholders in October-November 2009. The purpose of the first round of consultation was to identify issues to be addressed through the review process. Following this, Fisheries Queensland formed a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), based on stakeholder nominated participants, to advise the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) throughout the review process. Fisheries Queensland also formed a Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) to interpret the extensive scientific knowledge base for this fishery and provide scientific advice to Fisheries Queensland and the TAG as required. Further consultation was undertaken in October and November 2010 providing additional opportunities for stakeholders to have input into the review process.

Based on almost two years of consultation and serious consideration of a wealth of expert (including from industry) advice and scientific information, the advisory groups have reached a consensus position that significant reform of the current management arrangements is required to ensure the ecologically and economically sustainable future of the fishery. However, the exact detail of this reform is yet to be determined.

In late 2013, Fisheries Queensland undertook further consultation with trawl fishery industry members regarding the need for structural adjustment in the trawl fishery, in light of advice that the costs of any structural adjustment in the trawl fishery would have to be met by industry members.

When can I expect new management arrangements to come into effect?

The Queensland Government is currently undertaking a review of fishery management arrangements in Queensland. Until the outcomes of this review are known, Fisheries Queensland will continue to progress management options that are required to retain Commonwealth Government export approvals for this fishery. Conditions on the current export accreditation include the industry and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries taking specific action in relation to effort management in the fishery, as well as protected species interactions.

Further information

Last updated 24 April 2015