Jack mackerel (west) TAC increased fourfold

Photo: Sanford
Photo: Sanford

Based on a new assessment of jack mackerel (west) stocks in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF), the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has increased the annual total allowable catch (TAC) for commercial fishers from 920 tonnes to 4,190 tonnes.

A new season has kicked off in the SPF with little change to the TACs for the remaining target species, including Australian sardine, blue mackerel, and redbait.

Following a review and consultation with industry, stakeholders and the SPF Scientific Panel, the AFMA Commission has approved new fishing methods in the fishery, including the use of jigging and minor line (rod and reel).

These new methods are conditional on fishers meeting additional requirements, such as having an AFMA observer on board for the first five trips of the season.

There are also changes to the regional catch limits, which will apply to all SPF vessels to minimise the “low risk” of localised depletion of fish stocks, which are food sources for commercial and recreational species like tuna and billfish.

Vessels will still have a catch limit of 2,000 tonnes per location over a 30-day period, which if reached, requires them to move on to a new location.


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