The Ocean Trawl Share Management Plan and Supporting Plan now give effect to some fishing closures that were previously notified under section 8 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and, contain provisions relating to the types of fishing gear that may be used in the fishery. Some fishing closures remain as section 8 notifications.
Fishers are advised to familiarise themselves with the relevant fisheries legislation and applicable endorsement conditions and be aware that other restrictions on fishing operations may apply in Marine Protected Areas.
A program is in place in the Ocean Trawl Fishery that involves adaptively managing access to minimise bycatch, including bycatch of mulloway which is classified overfished and maximise industry profitability. Commercial fishers and DPI are also working together to develop new gear to minimise bycatch of juvenile mulloway in the school prawn sector, potentially alleviating the need for closures.
As part of the adaptive management strategy to maximise industry profitability, short term closures will be implemented for 3 months from 1 December to 28 February for 2016/17 and 2017/18 to protect small eastern king prawns to enhance biological and economic yield.