PZJA meeting 24 – 4-5 August 2015

PZJA 24 meeting Agenda

Wednesday 5 August 2015

No. Time Item Action Lead agency
  0730 Coffee/Tea   All
1 0800(10) Welcome and opening prayer   Chair
2 0810(10) PZJA 23 and out-of-session actions arising Noting Secretariat
3 0820(90) PZJA Agency updatesa.      Fishery performance (AFMA)b.      Transfer of licensing and compliance functions (AFMA/Qld)c.       Compliance                   i.            Domestic compliance (Qld)

                  ii.            Foreign compliance (AFMA)

d.      Capacity building (TSRA)

e.      Pathway to 100% ownership (TSRA)

f.        Ranger program (TSRA)







4 0950(15) PNG update Noting NFA
5 1005(30) Outcomes of PZJA Stakeholder Meeting Noting AFMA /Secretariat
  1035 Morning tea break (30 mins)     
6 1055(60) Tropical rock lobster management plan Noting AFMA
7 1155(50) Fishery decisionsa.      Black Teatfish season openingb.      Prawn fishery – Management options Decision   AFMA
  1245 Lunch break (30 mins)     
8 1315(40) Permit decisionsa.      Pearl shell development permitb.      Turtle and dugong scientific permit –variation to conditionsc.       Shark scientific permit –variation to conditions d.      Spanish mackerel scientific permit  DecisionDecision  Decision


9 1355(30) Native title updatea.      Native title office statusb.      Native title consultation  NotingNoting TSRA
10 1425(30) Malu Lamar request for PZJA Membership Noting AFMA
  1455 Afternoon tea (30 mins)    
11 1525(10) Indigenous Reference Group research Noting  
12 1535(10) PZJA Administration Review Noting AFMA
13 1545(25) PZJA priorities Decision Chair
14 1610(30) Other businessa.      Section 38 Delegationb.      PZJA 24 Decision record c.       Post meeting media release  DecisionDecisionDecision Chair  
    Closing Prayer   Chair






 Decision Record

2.       PZJA 23 and out-of-session actions arising

2.1.      The PZJA NOTED the progress of actions arising from PZJA decisions at meeting 23 and out-of-session decisions papers.

 3.       Agency updates

3a Fishery performance

3.1.      The PZJA NOTED an update on each of the Torres Strait fisheries.

 3b Transfer of licencing and compliance

3.2.      The PZJA NOTED that the transfer of licensing functions from Fisheries Queensland to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has been undertaken.

3.3.      The PZJA NOTED that the status of the transfer of compliance functions across the agencies is still being considered.

 3c (i) Domestic compliance

3.4.      The PZJA NOTED the domestic compliance arrangements and achievements in the Torres Strait Protected Zone for the 2014/15 financial year.

 3c (ii) Foreign compliance

3.5.      The PZJA NOTED the update on issues associated with the Torres Strait foreign fishing compliance program.

 3d Capacity building

3.6.      The PZJA NOTED the current Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) activities and projects being undertaken to increase the capacity of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers and communities.

3e Pathway to 100% ownership

3.7.      The PZJA NOTED the outcomes of community consultation for the draft Road Map to 100 per cent Ownership of Commercial Fisheries.

3.8.      The PZJA AGREED that a final Roadmap for commercial fisheries ownership be presented to members out-of-session for endorsement.

3.9.      The PZJA AGREED that the establishment of the Torres Strait Fishery Reallocation Working Group should be considered following the finalisation of the draft road map.

3.10.  The PZJA NOTED that the development of the Tropical Rock Lobster Management Plan is consistent with the 100 per cent ownership objective supported in 2014.

 3f Ranger program

3.11.  The PZJA NOTED the information provided by the TSRA about the Ranger Program.

3.12.  The PZJA NOTED that the TSRA will work PZJA agencies to pursue the delegation of formal powers under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 to TSRA staff, including community-based rangers.

 4.       Papua New Guinea Update

4.1.      The PZJA NOTED the update from representatives of the Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority.

4.2.      The PZJA NOTED the Report of the Fisheries Bilateral Meeting, 28 October 2014, Cairns, Australia.

 5.       Outcomes of PZJA Stakeholder Forum

5.1.      The PZJA NOTED the outcomes of the PZJA Stakeholder Forum held on 4 August 2015.

 6.       Tropical Rock Lobster Management Plan

6.1.      The PZJA NOTED that consultation completed to date indicates there is general support for introducing a Total Allowable Catch and, with some restrictions, quota under a plan of management for the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery.

6.2.      The PZJA AGREED for AFMA to develop a communication strategy that clearly sets out the overall management framework for the fishery. The strategy should explain:

6.2.1. the purpose and scope of the management plan; and

6.2.2. how other management measures, not proposed for the management plan, are implemented.

6.3.      The PZJA AGREED to seek to determine the plan by March 2016 allowing for the introduction of quota limits for the start of the 2016/17 fishing season.

6.4.      The PZJA AGREED that the catch allocation to Traditional Inhabitants would initially be at a sectoral rather than at the individual or company level.

6.5.      The PZJA AGREED to support the development of quota allocation approaches for the Traditional Inhabitant sector.

6.6.      The PZJA AGREED to review the plan two years after its implementation to allow for changes to improve performance including a possible allocation to individuals or companies within the Traditional Inhabitant sector.

6.7.      The PZJA NOTED that the TSRA Board will be considering whether or not it is able to administer quota entitlements on an interim basis following implementation of the plan.

 7.       Fishery Decisions

7a Bêche-de-mer Fishery

7.1.      The PZJA AGREED to the licensing delegate varying existing licence conditions for the bêche-de-mer fishery to enable access to a 15 tonne (wet weight gutted) competitive Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for black teatfish for the month of November 2015.

7.2.      The PZJA NOTED the catch monitoring strategy to support the black teatfish fishery.

7.3.      The PZJA NOTED the outcomes of Native Title Notification under Section 24HA of the Native Title Act 1993.

7.4.    The PZJA NOTED that theHand Collectable Working Group has recommended the development of longer-term management arrangements for the bêche-de-mer fishery including:

7.4.1. that amendments to the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 be pursued to make catch reporting mandatory for all licence holders.

7.4.2. a harvest strategy be developed to guide future TAC setting and provide greater certainty for investment.

 7b Prawn Fishery

7.5.      The PZJA AGREED to an earlier opening date (1 February) in the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery starting in the 2016 season.

[Note – the TSRA Chair did not support this recommendation as Torres Strait communities have opposed this proposal.]

7.6.      The PZJA DID NOT AGREE to removing the 20m boat and 88m headrope length restrictions noting that effort in the fishery will still remain capped and a range of other measures will control effective fishing effort.

7.7.      The PZJA NOTED the prawn fishery is operating at a level less than 20% of the Total Allowable Effort and has experienced negative net economic returns since 2004/05 (as reported by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)).

7.8.      The PZJA NOTED that independent consultants, ABARES, AFMA and Fisheries Queensland consider the constraints on operator efficiency along with high operating cost is rendering the fishery economically unviable. This is inconsistent with the legislated objectives for the prawn fishery (contained within the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 and the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Management Plan 2009).

7.9.      The PZJA NOTED the history of Torres Strait Prawn Management Advisory Committee (TSPMAC) and Standing Committee discussions regarding management options to address viability in the prawn fishery since 2009 and research/consultation that has been conducted as an outcome of these discussions.

7.10.  The PZJA NOTED the lack of unanimous support for any management changes to address viability in the TSPF, including within the TSPMAC. On this basis the TSPMAC June 2015 meeting recommendation is for the options for a 12 month trial of changes to season date, boat and gear to be escalated to the PZJA for consideration.

7.11.  The PZJA NOTED AFMA’s view that a longer term commitment to increasing operator efficiency is needed to address industry viability and investment in the fishery. This would not be achieved through the establishment of a 12 month trial.

 8.       Permit Decisions

8a Pearl Shell Developmental Permit

8.1.      The PZJA AGREED to grant developmental permits under Section 12 of the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, upon application, for persons to take Pinctada maxima shells sized between 100-130 mm to allow the aquaculture pearling industry to investigate whether the use of smaller shell can increase overall pearl farming productivity.

8.2.      The PZJA AGREED that the grant of developmental permits be subject to the following arrangements:

8.2.1. permits may only be issued to holders of a Traditional Inhabitant Boat license or a Transferable Vessel Holder license with a pearl shell endorsement

8.2.2. permits only be granted for 12 months

8.2.3. permit holders must complete logbooks

8.2.4. no more than 2000 shells within the size range of 100-130mm may be taken across all developmental permits issued.

8.3.      The PZJA AGREED that permanent changes to size limits for P. maxima will not be made until more information on the status of stocks and likely impacts on the stocks is known.

8.4.      The PZJA NOTED that an amendment to the legislative instrument relating to the pearl shell fishery will be required to support the grant of the above development permits.

8.5.      The PZJA NOTED the outcomes of Native Title Notification under Section 24HA of the Native Title Act 1993.

 8b Scientific Permit – TSRA Turtle and Dugong

8.6.      The PZJA AGREED to vary the Permit For Scientific Purposes granted on 27 March 2015 to the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) to capture, tag and monitor a maximum of five dugongs and two marine turtles in accordance with specified conditions to:

8.6.1. extend the period of the permit to 31 October 2015

8.6.2. allow an additional five dugongs and eight turtles to be captured and tagged (making the total ten of each)

8.6.3. amend the area of waters to include waters enclosed by the following boundaries:

Northern-most latitude: 9°17’S

Southern-most latitude: 10°10’S

Eastern-most longitude: 142°22’E

Western-most longitude: 142°04’E

8.7.      The PZJA AGREED for the Chair to sign the Permit for Scientific Purposes to give effect to the decision.

8.8.      The PZJA NOTED the outcomes of Native Title Notification under Section 24HA of the Native Title Act 1993 on the requested permit variation.

 8c Scientific Permit – Barnett Shark Tagging

8.9.      The PZJA AGREED to vary the Permit for Scientific Purposes granted on 2 June 2015 to Adam Barnett to catch, tag and take stomach, blood and tissue samples from up to 50 tiger sharks so that a different boat may be used. The new vessel is the Aroona (29878QB).

8.10.  The PZJA AGREED for the Chair to sign the Permit for Scientific Purposes to give effect to its decision.


8d Scientific Permit – JCU Spanish Mackerel Research

8.11.  The PZJA NOTED that an application for a Permit for Scientific Purposes has been received from James Cook University (JCU) to conduct research in the Torres Strait Spanish Mackerel Fishery in accordance with section 12(1) of the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984.

8.12.  The PZJA NOTED that on 19 September 2014 the PZJA granted a Permit for Scientific Purposes to the JCU to conduct the same research activities. That permit expired on 31 December 2014.

8.13.  The PZJA NOTED that the response period for Native Title notification relating to this permit closes on 15 August 2015.

 9.       Native Title Update

9a Status of the Native Title Office

9.1.      The PZJA NOTED the progress of the separation of the Native Title Representative Body function from the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

 9b Native Title Consultation

9.2.      The PZJA NOTED and DISCUSSED the request from Malu Lamar RNTBC seeking PZJA agreement for the payment of service fees for activities related to community consultation.

9.3.      The PZJA NOTED the fee for service schedule received from Malu Lamar.

 10.   Malu Lamar Request for PZJA Membership

10.1.  The PZJA NOTED that AFMA invited Malu Lamar (Torres Strait Islander) Corporation RNTBC (Malu Lamar) to submit a paper to the PZJA justifying their request for representation on the PZJA and for the Standing Committee to be replaced by an elected management committee.

10.2.  The PZJA AGREED to consider a proposal by Malu Lamar for representation on the PZJA if a paper is submitted in the future.

 11.   Indigenous Reference Group research

11.1.  The PZJA NOTED that AFMA and the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) are working together to maximise the value of research funding through collaboration where there are program overlaps.

11.2.  The PZJA NOTED that AFMA will liaise with the PZJA agencies where opportunities are identified to collaborate on research with the IRG.

 12.   PZJA Administration Review

12.1.  The PZJA NOTED the progress of the Administration Review recommendations.

 13.   PZJA Priorities

13.1.  The PZJA AGREED on the following priorities for the 2015/16 financial year:

13.1.1.  Development and implementation of a management plan for the tropical rock lobster fishery

13.1.2.  Finalisation of the roadmap to 100 per cent ownership

13.1.3.  Improve the monitoring and reporting for the bêche-de-mer fishery

13.1.4.  In line with administration review:

 13.1.4.i.  continue to investigate the transfer of domestic compliance responsibilities from Fisheries Queensland to the Australian Fisheries    Management Authority

 13.1.4. ii.  develop legislative amendment priorities to provide immediate improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of fisheries administration in the Torres Strait (for example allow for mandatory catch reporting across all sectors, delegation of powers to grant and varying scientific/development permits, implement Fisheries Infringement Notices).

 14.   Other Business

14a Section 38 Delegation

14.1.  The PZJA AGREED to delegate powers under Section 38 of the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 (the Act) to appropriate staff within the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Queensland).

14.2.  The PZJA AGREED for the Chair to sign the Section 38 delegation.