New quota shares to be issued 2018

The Minister for Primary Industries has accepted the final recommendations of the Independent Allocation Panel (IAP) on the allocation of new species and effort quota shares.

The Minister is committed to issuing quota shares for the 17 new species/species groups and effort shares in the Ocean Trawl - Inshore and Offshore Prawn trawl share classes by November this year.

Fishers should be aware that since new quota shares will be issued based on shareholdings, and the reported landings of the fishing business within which these shares are held, on 28 September 2018, any trading of shares before this date may affect the allocation

The creation and issue of the new quota shares (as well as arrangements to support quota management, such as real-time reporting and bag limits), are provided for by the Fisheries Management Legislation Further Amendment Regulation 2018 (PDF, 424 KB).

For a general explanation of how the share allocation criteria and formulae will work, see this factsheet on the calculation of new species and effort quota shares (PDF, 312.06 KB).

When will quota management start?

To allow more time for industry adjustment, the Minister has decided to commence quota management for the new species in 2019, rather than December this year.

For the ocean fisheries (Ocean Trap and Line - Line East, Ocean Hauling - Purse Seine, Ocean Trawl - Inshore and Offshore Prawn and Fish Trawl North), quota management will start in May 2019 to align with the Commonwealth quota period.

For Estuary General - Hand Gathering, quota management will start in July 2019 to align with existing quota periods in other Estuary General share classes.

Total Allowable Catch Determinations

The Minister directed the Secretary of the Department of Industry to make an annual fishing determination for these 17 new species or species groups under the provisions of the Fisheries Management Act 1994. The 2019/20 fishing determinations only apply to the relevant commercial sector.

See TACs and summary information for each of the 17 new species or species groups.

How much quota will I get?

Once the new species quota shares have been issued, shareholders will be able to calculate the amount of quota they will be allocated for the 2019/20 fishing period, based on the number of quota shares they own and the TAC for each species.

However, quota will only be allocated to shareholders immediately before the start of the first fishing period.

Frequently Asked Questions

The process of setting TAC's

Quotas control the amount of particular fish species that are taken each year by NSW commercial fishers in certain quota-managed share classes.

Using a quota-based system is one of the best ways to manage fish stocks and is used widely around Australia and in many other countries.

NSW has been successfully managing the commercial catch of Abalone and Lobster through a TAC and quota system for many years. Prior to the introduction of quota, Abalone and Lobster stocks were declining.

NSW is introducing catch quotas for 17 new species or species groups from 2019.

First, “quota shares” will be allocated to commercial fishers in eligible share classes that can take the species.

Then each year, commercial fishers who hold quota shares will be given quota  (a share of the Total Allowable Catch), which is the amount of that fish they can catch over the year.

The species / share classes that will receive quota are:

Share classSpecies

Estuary General - Hand Gathering

  • Beachworms (WOR-01, WOR-02, WOR-03, WOR-04)
  • Cockles (COC-01, COC-02)
  • Ghost nipper (YAB-01)
  • Pipi (PIP-01)

Ocean Hauling - Purse Seine

  • Australian sardine (PIL-01)
  • Blue mackerel (MAC-01)
  • Yellowtail scad (YEL-01)

Ocean Trap & Line - Line East

  • Gemfish (GEM-01)
  • Bass groper (GRO-01)
  • Blue eye trevalla (BLU-01)
  • Hapuku (HAP-01)
  • Pink ling (LIN-01)
  • Bigeye ocean perch (PER-02)

Ocean Trawl - Inshore/Offshore Prawn Trawl

  • Bluespotted flathead (FLA-03)
  • Tiger flathead (FLA-04)
  • Eastern school whiting/Stout whiting (combined) (WHI-01, WHI-03)

Ocean Trawl - Fish Trawl Northern Zone

  • Bluespotted flathead (FLA-03)
  • Tiger flathead (FLA-04)
  • Eastern school whiting/Stout whiting (combined) (WHI-01, WHI-03)
  • Silver trevally (TRE-01)
  • Gemfish (GEM-01)

Catch quotas for these species are being implemented on the recommendation of the Structural Adjustment Review Committee, which provided its final report to Government in late 2015.

Each year the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for each species is scientifically determined and then divided up amongst the commercial fishers as an annual quota allocation. The level of catch by other sectors is taken into account when setting the TAC.

In order to set the TAC a range of best available information is relied on including:

  • Status of Australian Fish Stocks reports
  • information obtained from other jurisdictions (where fish stocks are shared)
  • catch records submitted by commercial fishers
  • regular recreational fishing survey information
  • social and economic data such as share prices and quota trading prices
  • environmental information such as weather and seasonal conditions and natural events such as floods and cyclones
  • research and observer work conducted by NSW DPI Fisheries
  • the views of the public

The TAC may be made by either the independent Total Allowable Fishing (TAF) Committee or the Secretary of the Department of Industry.

The TAF Committee is comprised of four positions (currently filled as follows):

  • Independent chairperson (Dr Bruce Mapstone)
  • Natural Resource Economist (Dr Sean Pascoe)
  • Fisheries Scientist (Dr Keith Sainsbury)
  • A person with appropriate fisheries management qualifications (Kelly Crosthwaite)

For the first fishing period (commencing in 2019), the Director General of the Department of Primary Industries (under delegation from the Secretary) has set the TAC for the 17 new species or species groups.

The independent TAF Committee currently makes TAC determinations for Abalone and Lobster. In 2018 it is also considering Red Urchin.

However, a requirement to make TAC determinations for an additional 17 species or species groups in 2018 would have significantly increased the Committee’s workload, and also extended the period of uncertainty for fishers.

To provide greater certainty at an earlier date, while making sure the process remains thorough and accountable, the Minister directed the Secretary to determine TACs for the first fishing period, ie. 2019/20.

Going forward, it remains the intention of the Government to have these TACs determined by the Total Allowable Fishing Committee.

The Director General of the Department of Primary Industries (under delegation from the Secretary) was required to have regard to at least one scientific assessment for each species/species group.

In the case of species shared with adjacent jurisdictions (Commonwealth or Queensland), at least one of these scientific assessments was the one used by that jurisdiction to set its TAC.

In the case of species that are not shared with adjacent jurisdictions, the scientific reports to be considered by the Director General were prepared by DPI scientists and peer reviewed by independent scientists.

The Department invited submissions from stakeholders and the general public on the level of the TAC for each of the 17 species or species groups. Submissions closed 27 July 2018.

These submissions were considered by the Director General of the Department of Primary Industries when making fishing determinations.

The Status of Australian Fish Stocks reports provide information including current catches in every relevant jurisdiction (including NSW).

While the TAF Committee / Secretary take into account the level of catch by other sectors, including recreational and Aboriginal fishers, they do not set a Total Allowable Catch for any other sector. Recreational fishers will still mostly be managed using existing controls such as bag and size limits and closures.