AFMA raises baitfish catch limit

THE Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has announced its latest Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limits for the Commonwealth commercial fishing sector. 

Potentially disturbing for the rec fishing sector is a large increase of TAC for the Small Pelagic Fishery over the 2014-15 Season.

Australia’s Small Pelagic Fishery was to be the target of the controversial super trawler Abel Tasman, which was recently banned from Commonwealth waters following widespread public opposition. 

The Small Pelagic Fishery includes baitfish species blue mackerel, redbait, jack mackerel and the Australian sardine (pilchard).

The latest TAC limit for Australian sardines has gone from 270 tonnes to to 560 tonnes – an increase of 107.4 per cent.

On its website AFMA says:

The new TACs are similar to those set for 2013-14 season, with the exception of Australian Sardine. In making this decision the Commission took into account the following considerations:

The recommended total catch limit from all sources of mortality is currently less than 7.5 per cent of the spawning biomass estimates consistent with the Tier 2 guidelines in the SPF Harvest Strategy. This means that 92.5% of the estimated spawning biomass is left in the water. This is consistent with international guidance contained in the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force (2012) report.

Read more details at:


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