DPI administers the key pieces of legislation that identify and protect threatened fish and marine vegetation in NSW: the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and the Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 2010.
The Office of Environment and Heritage administers the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
Matters of national significance are administered by the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
A licence may be required under section 220ZW of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 if an action is likely to result in:
When a section 220ZW licence application form is received, DPI assesses the proposed action to determine whether it is likely to have a significant impact on threatened species or their habitat, including critical habitat. There are a number of possible outcomes:
Licence applications that are accompanied by a species impact statement are advertised by DPI and the public are given the opportunity to provide written submissions on the proposed action.
Some applications can take longer to process due to the nature and complexity of the proposed actions. Should a licence be issued it will appear in the public register.
A Ministerial order may be required under section 221IA of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 to authorise a class of persons to carry out an activity that may result in:
Prior to making an order, a species impact statement must be prepared and the Minister must consult the Fisheries Scientific Committee, relevant advisory councils, and give the public an opportunity to make written submissions on the proposed order.
The Minister may also make an interim order to permit the continuation of an existing activity following the listing of a new threatened species, population or ecological community, if reasonably necessary to reduce social and economic impacts during the assessment of a proposed Ministerial order. Interim orders may only remain in force for a period not exceeding 6 months, however they may be remade if required.
The Minister for Primary Industries may enter into a joint management agreement under s. 221V of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 with another public authority. The purpose of a joint management agreement is to manage, regulate or restrict an action that is jeopardising the survival of a threatened species, population or ecological community.
A joint management agreement for the NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program has been prepared between the Department of Primary Industries and the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage. The objectives of the joint management agreement are to:
The joint management agreement is supported by a management plan.
Before the Minister enters into a joint management agreement, the document must be provided to the Fisheries Scientific Committee for review, and the public must be given an opportunity to make submissions on the draft agreement.
The Fisheries Scientific Committee must also conduct an annual review of the performance of all parties to a joint management agreement and advise the Minister of any deficiencies in implementation of any joint management agreement by any party to it. These reviews are available at NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program.