Outcome: Sustainable aquatic resources providing the best possible benefit to all Territorians.

Working collaboratively with all of our partners to protect, sustainably use and access the NT’s aquatic resources


2017-181 Actual 2018-19 Budget 2018-19 Actual
Aboriginal people who completed agency-facilitated training   294 292
Capacity‑building visits to Aboriginal communities   55 63
Fish stocks assessed as sustainable or recovering   20 23

1 New performance measures

Promote and facilitate the development of primary industries and resources

  • Undertook foundational research on tropical rock oyster aquaculture in partnership with Aboriginal communities across the NT and published two research papers.
  • Improved spawning and hatchery production of juvenile oysters at Darwin Aquaculture Centre and produced 200,000 spat to expand two trial farming sites at South Goulburn Island.
  • Assessed status of 23 NT fish stocks and published results in national Status of Australian Fish Stocks Report.
  • Undertook monitoring and observer work across key fisheries and developed fishery observer protocols.
  • Completed review of mud crab harvest strategy to ensure sustainable and contemporary harvest rules.
  • Completed harvest strategy for offshore net and line fishery to ensure sustainable and contemporary harvest rules.
  • Introduced harvest limits to aquarium fishery to provide industry certainty and ensure sustainability of key coral species.
  • Monitored barramundi abundance using electrofishing to estimate juvenile abundance for the Daly and Mary river systems.
  • Commenced black jewfish broodstock collection program to trial hatchery production at Darwin Aquaculture Centre.
  • Held annual staff forum to discuss strategic priorities and business planning.
  • Continued to implement the $50 million RecFishing Futures program, including:
    • tender for major artificial reefs project awarded and construction commenced for deployment in late 2019
    • five trial fishing aggregation devices (FADs) deployed
    • in-principle agreement signed for Point Stuart road upgrade
    • consultancies to assess land‑based fishing platforms at East Point and Cullen Bay completed.
    • negotiations undertaken with Traditional Owners for carpark upgrade at Daly River.
  • Commenced NT‑wide recreational fishing survey to provide up‑to‑date information on recreational fishing catch, participation, fishing effort and expenditure from local and visiting anglers.
  • Signed the ‘Nitmiluk Agreement’ which saw Government, the Northern Land Council, Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Seafood Council agree on common directions to resolve fishing access issues arising from the High Court ‘Blue Mud Bay Decision’ in 2008.

Use regulation of our industries and  resources as a foundation for appropriate economic development

  • Developed new regulations for offshore net and line fishery to introduce quota management framework promoting economic development.
  • Reviewed aquatic pest inspection protocols to improve efficiency of service delivery for stakeholders and recreational vessels.
  • Developed draft marine pest monitoring plan for stakeholders to provide basis for future monitoring techniques.
  • Developed draft fisheries compliance strategy for consultation with enforcement partners to provide basis for future compliance activity.

Build capability, adopt contemporary technology and improve service delivery

  • Built capacity of Aboriginal Marine Rangers in aquatic biosecurity surveillance and training and scientific data collection, including on‑country training, freshwater pest identification guides and biosecurity sampling kits for ranger groups.
  • Delivered project management training to 12 staff to improve skills and project delivery.
  • Rolled out electronic logbooks across commercial fisheries to improve efficiency of service delivery and data collection.
  • Continued focus on budget and corporate governance, including new administration support model for Fisheries Division and its clients to improve efficiency.
  • Commenced review of Fisheries Division data and database needs.
  • Further roll‑out of electronic vessel monitoring systems in the Mud Crab, Aquarium and Offshore Net and Line fisheries.
  • Converted the Fishwatch hotline to a call centre service to improve efficiency.
  • Delivered training and mentoring to Aboriginal Coastal Licence holders in communities across the NT to support increased Aboriginal participation in the seafood industry.

Last updated: 23 October 2019

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