Fisheries regulatory changes effective 1 February 2018
Two regulatory changes affecting Northern Territory commercial fishers have been introduced.
Changes to the Northern Territory Barramundi Fishery Management Plan now mean it is an offence to place barramundi nets more than half way across any river or creek in the Territory.
While it was already an offence to set barramundi nets across more than 50% of a waterway or within 25 metres of another net in most instances, a ‘loop hole’ meant that some waterways were not included.
The changes made to the Barramundi Fishery Management Plan mean that these measures now apply to all Northern Territory waterways and reflect community and industry expectations about how appropriate fishing should be carried out.
Also effective from 1 February, the Fisheries Regulations have been amended to allow a levy to be charged to commercial fishing licence holders to recover the costs of monitoring a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).
VMS is an effective management tool that allows fishing activity to be tracked in real time and increases transparency of commercial fishing operations. It is also useful for managing fishery stocks by providing information about where fishing effort is occurring.