Adjustment Subsidy Program

The Adjustment Subsidy Program (ASP) provides $16 million in assistance measures to help commercial fishers adjust their fishing business/es in line with the new share linkage arrangements. It consists of two phases:

  • Phase 1 - fishing business buyouts, low interest loans, retraining and advice grants, training and participation in the preview share trading market
  • Phase 2 - subsidised share trading market (an online market which closed on 28 June 2017)

Ongoing assistance is available as fishers prepare for new share linkage arrangements which commence on December 1 2017(including low interest rate loans, professional advice and retraining grants, fishing business buyout payments, and Fisher Care Line).

Fishing Business Activity & Catch Record Statement

All owners were sent a Fishing Business Activity & Catch Record Statement in their registration pack. The statement indicated ‘relevant’ share classes. A ‘relevant’ share class is any share class where catch or effort quota is the main linkage arrangement, and the quota allocation per share is known. For the share classes where catch quota is the main linkage, the kgs detailed on your statement are only for the weight of catch quota species (i.e. mud crab, blue swimmer crab, eels and eastern sea garfish) that have been reported caught. For the share classes where effort quota is the main linkage, it is the number of days reported fished that are detailed.

Catch record details have not been provided for share classes that are subject to

(i) a new minimum shareholding only,

(ii) no change or

(iii) the Independent Allocation Panel process only.

Share deficits, or shortfalls, for these share classes were not relevant for the subsidised share trading market and are marked with a * on your catch record statement.

Administrative review of catch records

If you disagreed with the largest annual catch or effort provided for your fishing business, you had the opportunity to apply for an administrative review. An administrative review was undertaken;

  • if a written request detailing the fishing business number, log sheet numbers, event dates, annual total and the share class to be reviewed was submitted
  • to review evidence of mandatory catch records was received by DPI by 31 May 2016
  • where the original records received by the Director-General were in the approved form and manner in accordance with sections 121 & 122 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and did not indicate unlawful fishing activity, and
  • for the purpose of determining share deficits for the Adjustment Subsidy Program (subsidised share trading market).

How to submit an administrative review (now closed)

Requests for an administrative review had to be submitted (preferably by email) by the closing date and be accompanied by the relevant supporting information.

Please send review requests to Catch Records via email or post to PO Box 4157, Coffs Harbour Jetty, NSW 2450.

The closing date to request an administrative review was 17 February 2017.

Subsidised share trading market

Market rules

The original rule on share caps needed to be expanded for two reasons. First, in some share classes, the highest level of deficit was still quite low and using that as a cap would have severely constrained trading. The second reason was that some share classes had no one with any deficit and would therefore have no cap. Those classes have been capped at 125 shares to allow trading but prevent large aggregations using subsidy.

Notice to extend payment by buyers under the Market Rules

Under the Market Rules and the Notice of Market Rules Amendment published on the Website on 22 October 2017, buyers must pay the purchase price for each transfer of shares within 90 days of the issue of a Confirmation by DPI.  Confirmations were issued on 28 June 2017.

To allow further time for issues relating to income tax to be resolved with the Australian Tax Office, DPI is extending the period for payment of the purchase price of shares purchased in the Subsidised share trading market from  90 days to 240 days from the issue of a confirmation. This means buyers will have until 23 February 2018 to pay the purchase price to the RAA.

Interest on late payment of the purchase price will not start to accrue until the 240 day period has ended.

This extension of payment terms operates as an amendment to clause 8.4 of the Market Rules.

Additional assistance for fishers in minimum shareholding fisheries

Following the close of the subsidised share trading market, additional assistance is being offered to a small number of active fishers who tried to buy shares in the market but did not get enough to meet the new minimum shareholding in a share class.

The Department is attempting to locate shares for these fishers by first approaching fishers who were unsuccessful in selling shares in the market, and secondly (if necessary) inviting expressions of interest from all shareholders in that share class.

To make this process fair to those that participated in the market, shares are being offered and purchased at the prices determined by the market, where they exist.

Share deficit (share shortfall)

A share deficit or shortfall exists when the owner of a fishing business may need to acquire more shares (under the new share linkage arrangements) to continue fishing at their current level. For share classes with a new minimum shareholding, share deficits will be calculated as the difference between a business’ current shareholding and the new minimum shareholding. For share classes which are moving to catch or effort quotas, share deficits will be calculated as the additional shares an ‘active’ business may need to acquire in that share class to fish at a level equivalent to their highest reported 12-month (May to April) catch in the period 1 May 2011 to 30 April 2016. (These dates align with the timeframe used to determine business ‘activity’.)

What information are we collecting?

Bids that were made during the preview market were collected and stored in a secure database managed by an independent company.

This data will include the price and quantity of shares for each bid or offer, as well as whether the business making the bid or offer is active or inactive in the share class, and whether it has a share deficit.

What will we do with the information?

The independent experts who have developed the market software will use this data to match bids and offers and determine which bids and offers would have been successful, what the market price would have been in each share class, and how much subsidy would have been paid if the market had been binding rather than just a preview.

The independent experts may use the combined data to recommend minor adjustments to the market rules or the algorithm, if necessary, to better meet the market principles.

No personal bid information or results will be published by DPI. Summary results of the preview market at a share class or industry level was provided to fishers. Note that these results will be calculated purely to give participants an idea of how the market works and to test the software and market evaluation process; they could not be relied upon as an indication of likely results out of the subsidised share trading market.

How long will we keep the information?

The Department retains information like this for seven years in accordance with the State Records Act 1998.

Activity and the future independent allocation panel process

The fishing activity records of any fishing business cancelled through the fishing business buyout scheme will be retained by DPI should the IAP wish to use them when it considers how new quota shares should be allocated, and in the subsequent allocation of those shares.

Probity management

To ensure a fair and transparent process, an independent probity consultant has been engaged to oversee the Adjustment Subsidy Program. The subsidised share trading market was managed in accordance with probity principles such as fairness, accountability and confidentiality.

If anyone suspects unethical or anti-competitive behavior during the Subsidised share trading market, incidents can be reported anonymously via the link below and will be investigated accordingly.

Report an incident.