Shark amendment bill formalised

As Fisho had reported earlier this month, The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Recreational Fishing for Mako and Porbeagle Sharks) Act 2010 (No. 107 of 2010) (the Act) had passed through the Senate and was awaiting Royal Assent from the Governor General – that final step in the legislation has now been undertaken. 

As from 15 July 2010 it is not an offence to catch, kill or injure long fin or short fin mako or porbeagle sharks in Commonwealth Waters in the course of recreational fishing. A commercial fishing ban for the sharks remains unless an existing exemption applies.

In information on the amendment bill sent out this week to gamefishing clubsaround Australia by the Department Of Heritage Water and the Arts(DEWHA), recreational fishing for the sharks is defined as the following:

Definition of “recreational fishing”

A fishing activity within the ordinary meaning of ‘recreational fishing’ will be covered by the exception (for example, fishing of makos or porbeagle sharks by an individual person from their private boat for personal use). The Act also includes a definition of ‘recreational fishing’ for the purposes of the exception to clarify that ‘recreational fishing’ also includes (but is not limited to) the following types of fishing:

• fishing from a charter boat (within the meaning of the Fisheries Management Act 1991), including fishing by the person in charge of the boat, the crew of the boat or any other person on the boat;

• fishing in a fishing competition (whether or not in a professional capacity); and

• fishing that is undertaken primarily for inclusion on a website, or in a film, video, television program or radio program, or for description or representation in a magazine, newspaper, book or other such document.

The new amendments to the EPBC Act are consistent with changes recommended by Dr Allan Hawke in relation to listed Migratory Species, and Australia continues to meet its international obligations that stem from the Convention on Migratory Species.

In this regard, Australia continues to be an active participant in international efforts to develop a global memorandum of understanding for the conservation and management of migratory sharks.

A copy of the relevant documentation is available HERE


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