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					DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRY, FISHERIES AND MINES




                   northern territory
                   strategic plan
    fisheries research and development
                  update for 2007-2011
                                    FOREWORD
                       Northern Territory commercial fisheries and aquaculture
                       generated an income valued at $87.1 million in the 2004-05
                       financial year. Commercial fisheries catches were valued at $59.3
                       million and aquaculture, including pearl production, contributed
                       $27.8 million.

                       In 2005 an estimated $1.4 billion was invested in licences,
                       vessels, equipment and facilities supporting the commercial
                       fishers, according to the NT Seafood Council (NTSC). About
                       1440 people were employed directly in the seafood industry, with
                       a total annual wage bill of about $180 million.

Recreational fishing was worth $26.7 million, with each fisher spending an average of
$608, according to the National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing survey carried out
between May 2000 and April 2001.

Clearly, the commercial, recreational and traditional fisheries sectors play a significant
role in the economy of the Territory and contribute to diversified regional economic
growth.

Obtaining accurate data on fish stocks, their harvesting and replenishment, is a
complex, and expensive task, often with imprecise results.

Any investigation aimed at adequately managing our fisheries must have clear
objectives and priorities, particularly in the current climate of diminishing resources for
research and development.

The function of the Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research and Development is to ensure
that this occurs. This Plan has been regularly modified on five occasions since 1999 to
follow significant Government policy changes and stakeholder directions and priorities.

However, recent advances in fisheries management and research know-how
necessitate a full review. This will be carried out in early 2007.

Members of the professional and recreational fishing industries and NT Fisheries staff all
contributed to the preparation of this updated document. Special thanks go to the NT
Seafood Council (NTSC) and to the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern
Territory (AFANT).

This update is available on the NT Fisheries web site (www.fisheries.nt.gov.au).




THE HON CHRIS NATT MLA
Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries
January 2007


                                               i
                                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


                 NORTHERN TERRITORY STRATEGIC PLAN FOR
                  FISHERIES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
                               2007 to 2011
Table of Contents
FOREWORD ..................................................................................................................................................I
  TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................................................. II
  LIST OF TABLES – 2007 PROJECTS.............................................................................................................. V
  LIST OF HISTORICAL TABLES ...................................................................................................................... VI
1 OVERVIEW OF NT FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE INDUSTRIES ....................................................1

2 LEGISLATIVE BASIS FOR THE STRATEGIC R&D PLAN .......................................................................2

3 STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR NT FISHERIES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ...........................3
   BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................................3
4 DETAILED STRATEGIC PROGRAM FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.......................................................4
   1. COLUMN 1 ...........................................................................................................................................4
   2. PLANNED OUTCOMES.......................................................................................................................4
   3. SPECIFIC R&D AND MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES ...........................................................................5
   4. PROJECTS ..........................................................................................................................................5
   5. FUNDING SOURCE.............................................................................................................................5
   6. TIMETABLE .........................................................................................................................................5
5 SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING OF FISH AND OTHER AQUATIC RESOURCES....................................6
   DESCRIPTION .............................................................................................................................................6
   PLANNED OUTPUTS TO 2011 .......................................................................................................................6
6 EVALUATION OF PRINCIPAL NORTHERN TERRITORY FISHERY RESOURCES...............................7

6.1 BARRAMUNDI FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 1A, 1B AND 1C) ....................................................8
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING..........................................................................................................................9
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ....................................................................................................................9
   PROJECTS ..................................................................................................................................................9
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................10
   KING THREADFIN SALMON ..........................................................................................................................10
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................10
6.2 MUD CRAB FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 2A, 2B AND 2C) .......................................................12
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................13
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................14
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................14
   PROJECT ..................................................................................................................................................14
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................14
6.3 COASTAL LINE FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 3A, 3B AND 3C).................................................16
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................17
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................17
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................17
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................17
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................18
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................18
6.4 SPANISH MACKEREL RESOURCES (TABLES 4A, 4B AND 4C).......................................................20
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................21
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................21
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................21
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................21
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................21
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................22

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                                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.5 OFFSHORE NET AND LINE FISHERY (TABLES 5A, 5B AND 5C).....................................................24
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................25
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................25
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................25
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................25
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................26
6.6 OFFSHORE SNAPPER RESOURCES ................................................................................................28

6.6.1 TIMOR REEF FISHERY (TABLES 6A, 6B AND 6C) .........................................................................29
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................29
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................29
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................29
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................29
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................29
6.6.2 DEMERSAL FISHERY (FIGURES 6A, 6B, 6C) .................................................................................30
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................30
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................30
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................30
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................30
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................30
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................30
6.6.3 FINFISH TRAWL FISHERY (7A, 7B AND 7C)...................................................................................32
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................32
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................32
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................32
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................33
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................33
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................33
6.7 TREPANG FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 8B AND 8C)................................................................35
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................36
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................36
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................36
   PROJECT ..................................................................................................................................................36
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................36
6.8 AQUARIUM FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 9B AND 9C)..............................................................38
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................39
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................39
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................39
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................40
6.9 FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES (TABLES 10B AND 10C)........................................42

7 THE AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY...........................................................................................................44
   DESCRIPTION ...........................................................................................................................................44
   PRIORITY OUTPUTS BY 2011 .....................................................................................................................45
7.1 MOLLUSC AQUACULTURE (TABLES 11A, 11B AND 11C) ...............................................................46

7.2 FINFISH AQUACULTURE (TABLES 12A, 12B AND 12C)...................................................................48
   SEA CAGE CULTURE ..................................................................................................................................48
   DEVELOPMENT .........................................................................................................................................48
   RESEARCH ...............................................................................................................................................48
7.3 CRUSTACEAN AQUACULTURE (TABLES 13A, 13B AND 13C) ........................................................50

7.4 AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY SUPPORT (TABLES 14A, 14B AND 14C)............................................53




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                                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

8 RECREATIONAL FISHING (TABLES 15A, 15B AND 15C) ....................................................................55
   DESCRIPTION ...........................................................................................................................................55
   PRIORITY OUTPUTS BY 2011 .....................................................................................................................55
9 ENVIRONMENT, HABITAT AND CONSERVATION OF AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY (TABLES 16A,
   16B AND 16C).......................................................................................................................................57
   PLANNED OUTPUTS BY 2011 .....................................................................................................................57
10 CONTROL OF AQUATIC PESTS (TABLES 17B AND 17C) .................................................................60
   DESCRIPTION ...........................................................................................................................................60
   PLANNED OUTPUTS BY 2011 .....................................................................................................................61
11 DEVELOPMENT OF FURTHER PARTICIPATION BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN REGIONAL
   AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES IN THE COMMERCIAL SEAFOOD INDUSTRY (TABLES 18B
   AND 18C) ..............................................................................................................................................63
   DESCRIPTION ...........................................................................................................................................63
   PRIORITY OUTPUTS BY 2011 .....................................................................................................................64
12 FISHING TOUR OPERATORS (TABLE 19C)........................................................................................66
   DESCRIPTION ...........................................................................................................................................66
   SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING........................................................................................................................67
   PROJECTS ................................................................................................................................................67
   PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................................................67
   PROJECT ..................................................................................................................................................67
   OPTIMUM UTILISATION ...............................................................................................................................67
   PROJECT ..................................................................................................................................................67
13 REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................69

14 TABLES OF FISHERIES R&D PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS 1998-2002 AND 2002 TO 2003-
   04 WITH EVALUATION OF PROGRESS FOR EACH PROJECT. ....................................................70




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                                 UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


                                     List of Tables – 2007 Projects

Table 1c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Barramundi
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................11
Table 2c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Mud Crab
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................15
Table 3c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Coastal Line
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................19
Table 4c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Spanish
            Mackerel Fishery.......................................................................................................................23
Table 5c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for Offshore Net and
            Line Fishery...............................................................................................................................27
Table 6c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Timor Reef
            Fishery and Demersal Fishery ..................................................................................................31
Table 7c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Finfish Trawl
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................34
Table 8c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Trepang
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................37
Table 9c    2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Aquarium
            Fishery. .....................................................................................................................................41
Table 10c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the Development
            Fishery ......................................................................................................................................43
Table 11c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for mollusc
            aquaculture ...............................................................................................................................47
Table 12c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for finfish aquaculture......49
Table 13c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for crustacean
            aquaculture ...............................................................................................................................52
Table 64c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for aquaculture
            industry support.........................................................................................................................54
Table 15c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for recreational fishing.....56
Table16c    2007 environmental and habitat outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration .......59
Table 17c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for the control of
            aquatic pests .............................................................................................................................62
Table 18c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for fisheries
            development in remote areas ...................................................................................................65
Table 19c   2007 R&D outcomes, projects, their funding sources and duration for Fishing Tour
            Operators ..................................................................................................................................68




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                                 UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


                                            List of Historical Tables

Table 1a    2002 evaluation of R&D progress for barramundi from 1998 to 2002 ......................................71
Table 1b    List of barramundi R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ................................72
Table 2a    2002 evaluation of R&D progress for mud crab from 1998 to 2002. ........................................73
Table 2b    List of mud crab projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each period. .................................74
Table 3a    Evaluation of R&D progress in the coastal line fishery from 1998 to 2002...............................76
Table 3b    List of coastal line R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each period. .....................77
Table 4a    Evaluation of R&D progress on spanish mackerel from 1998 to 2002. ....................................78
Table 4b    List of spanish mackerel R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each period. ...........79
Table 5a    Evaluation of R&D progress on the shark fishery from 1998 to 2002.......................................80
Table 5b    List of shark and grey mackerel projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ...................81
Table 6a    Evaluation of R&D progress on the Timor Reef and Demersal fisheries from 1998 to
            2002. .........................................................................................................................................82
Table 6b    List of timor reef + demersal fisheries R&D projects 2002 to 2004 with progress for each......83
Table 7a    2002 evaluation of R&D progress on finfish trawl fishery from 1998 to 2002...........................84
Table 7b    List of finfish trawl R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ................................85
Table 8b    List of trepang R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ......................................86
Table 9b    List of native aquarium fish R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ..................87
Table 10b   List of development fishery R&D projects 2002 and 2003 with progress for each. ..................88
Table 11a   2002 evaluation of R&D progress on mollusc aquaculture from 1998 to 2002. .......................89
Table 11b   List of mollusc aquaculture R&D projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each. .............90
Table 12a   2002 evaluation of R&D progress of each for finfish aquaculture from 1998 to 2002. .............91
Table 12b   List of fish aquaculture R&D projects 2003 and 2003-04 with progress for each.....................92
Table 13a   2002 evaluation of R&D progress for crustacean aquaculture from 1998 to 2002...................93
Table 13b   List of crustacean R&D projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each.............................94
Table 14a   Evaluation of R&D project for aquaculture industry support progress from 1998 to 2002. ......95
Table 14b   List of aquaculture industry support projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each. ........96
Table 15a   2002 evaluation of R&D progress for recreational fishing from 1998 to 2002 with
            progress for each. .....................................................................................................................97
Table 15b   List of recreational fishing R&D projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each................98
Table 16a   Evaluation of R&D progress for environment and habitat from 1998 to 2002. .........................99
Table 16b   List of environment and habitat R&D projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each. ....100
Table 17b   List of control of aquatic pest projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress for each. ................101
Table 18b   List of fisheries development in remote areas projects 2002 and 2003-04 with progress
            for each. ..................................................................................................................................102




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                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006



 STRATEGIC PLAN FOR NORTHERN TERRITORY FISHERIES
      RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT – 2007-2011


1 OVERVIEW OF NT FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE INDUSTRIES
The Territory’s fisheries comprise commercial (wild harvest, fishing tour operators and
aquaculture), recreational and traditional sectors. All have played a significant role in the
development of the Territory and they continue to contribute to diversified regional
economic growth. The fishery resources in waters adjacent to the Northern Territory are
characterised by a large variety of species of relatively low abundance. Some of the
commercially important species, for example prawns, squid and mud crab, have a high
growth rate and are short-lived. Conversely, research is showing that growth rates in
some of the NT commercial species, mainly demersal snappers, are low and the fish
reach a substantial age (in the order of 25 years).

Despite major advances in stock assessment methodology during the past decade,
significant fishery collapses have occurred in other parts of the world. In response, the
NT Government and its fishery stakeholders have adopted a conservative approach to
managing aquatic resources. This approach has sought to minimise the possibility of
fishery collapse while maximising the optimal utilisation of the stocks.

Prawns taken off the Northern Territory and pearl culture make up the majority of the
gross value of production (GVP) of Territory fisheries. However, a number of other
species are very important to the local economy and some of them perhaps are still
under-utilised.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) reported that
the annual value of production from the NT commercial fisheries sector in 2004-05 was
about $59.3 million for the wild harvest sector. This does not include the prawn fishery
which is managed by the Commonwealth. Aquaculture production, including pearls, was
valued at about $27.8 million. However, the multiplier effects to the community (usually
a factor of three or more for most commercial fishing) are considerable. In 2005 the
Northern Territory Seafood Council estimated that $1.4 billion was invested in licences,
vessels, equipment and facilities. About 1440 people were employed directly in the
seafood industry, with an annual wage bill of about $180 million.

Coleman (1998) estimated the overall annual expenditure on recreational fishing in the
NT to be at least $30 million. The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing survey
carried out from May 2000 to April 2001 (Henry and Lyle, 2003) found that the NT
ranked third on a per capita basis among the states and territories in its total expenditure
attributable to recreational fishing. This expenditure was estimated to be $26.7 million
from an estimated 43,932 fishers, each with an average expenditure of $608. Darwin
accounted for 83 per cent of the expenditure attributable to the NT. Unfortunately, no
survey has been conducted since 2001 and there are no up-to-date figures on
recreational and Indigenous fishing.




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                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Due to the diversity of stakeholders and interest groups, there are different and often
conflicting policies and directions that the Government needs to consider when deciding
its strategic directions for managing the conservation and utilisation of aquatic
resources. For example, the social values of recreational fishing need to be balanced
against the economic value for commercial fishing; the differing requirements of
Indigenous communities for aquatic resources in their ceremonial and recreational
needs; and, the potential conflicts between stakeholders in the same fishery. Fisheries
research and development (R&D) must provide the managing agency with sufficient
information to ensure that the natural resources are conserved and optimally utilised,
and that conflict between stakeholders is minimised.

Thus, fisheries R&D priorities must be determined in close consultation with the
stakeholders in the various fisheries and consideration of the aquatic resources
involved. In addition to the Fishery Management Advisory Committees (MACs), this
consultation has occurred through a number of formal and informal channels.

Before R&D strategic priorities can be set, the objectives and expected outcomes for the
management and/or development of utilisation and conservation of the aquatic
resources need to be clear and understood by stakeholders.

The function of this updated Plan is to ensure that stakeholders have been consulted
and, within the human and financial resources available in the NT for fisheries R&D, the
biological and technical advice needed for managing and conserving its fisheries is
optimised.


2 LEGISLATIVE BASIS FOR THE STRATEGIC R&D PLAN
The legislative basis for the management and conservation of fisheries and aquatic
resources resides in the NT Fisheries Act 1988 which is an Act "to provide for the
regulation, conservation and management of fisheries and fishery resources so as to
maintain their sustainable utilisation, to regulate the sale and processing of fish and
aquatic life, and for related purposes". Subordinate to the Act are Fisheries Regulations
that provide for declaration of the various fisheries and how these are administered. The
Act also makes provision for the declaration of management plans which provide
specific management measures for major fisheries.

To achieve the objectives of the Act, relevant information needs to be gathered on the
Territory's aquatic resources. The role of this Strategic R&D Plan is to ensure that the
gathering of this information has been planned with priorities agreed by both
stakeholders and Government.

The Fisheries Act is currently under review.




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                    UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

3 STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR NT FISHERIES RESEARCH AND
   DEVELOPMENT

Background

The objectives for NT fisheries R&D in 1998 were based on the 1995 NT Government’s
Future Directions document and identified the following principal outcomes:
  Sustainable harvesting of fish and other aquatic resources;
  Conservation of aquatic biodiversity and implementation of ecosystem management
  of aquatic resources;
  Optimum utilisation of fish and aquatic resources; and
  Growth of the aquaculture industry.

Significant changes in NT Government directions and priorities since formulation of the
original Plan were incorporated into both the 2002 revision and the current updates.
These include:
   employment creation and economic and social sustainability;
   greater emphasis on recreational fishing;
   increased prominence being given to aquaculture development;
   increased pressure for research on habitat and biodiversity conservation;
   the requirement to report on all aspects of ecologically sustainable development
   (ESD) and to take account of its principles in managing Territory fisheries;
   creation of business partnerships between traditional owners and the private sector
   arising from the growth of core and emerging aquatic industries in the Territory; and
   increased emphasis on regional development.

With respect to ESD, account must be taken of the Conceptual Framework for the
Ecologically Sustainable Development of Australia Fisheries ratified in 2001. The core
objectives for sustainable fisheries were seen to be:
  protection of biodiversity and maintenance of essential ecological processes;
  provision of effective legal, institutional and economic frameworks for ecologically
  sustainable development; and
  enhancement of individual and community well-being by following a path of economic
  development that safeguards the welfare of current and future generations.

The Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines (DPIFM) is responsible for
developing, advancing and servicing the needs of these three vital sectors within this
exciting environment.

Based on the above duty, current fisheries legislation, recent changes in Government
policy and consultation with stakeholders, the principal planned outcomes for NT
fisheries currently include:
   sustainable harvesting of fish and other aquatic resources;
   conservation of aquatic biodiversity and implementation of ecosystem management of
   aquatic resources;
   optimum utilisation of fish and aquatic resources;
   growth of the aquaculture industry;
   development and management of recreational fishing;
   control of aquatic pests; and
   appropriate approaches for development of regional and remote communities.



                                             3
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Details of these planned principal outcomes and the programs to achieve them by 2011
are given below.

In recent years the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) has been
implementing a program of human capital development that aims to develop the
knowledge and skills of people in and supporting the Australian seafood industry, and in
the wider community. It is expected that this improvement in Australians’ knowledge and
skills will help increase economic, environmental and social benefits from fisheries
research and development.

The strategies employed by FRDC include:
- leadership development;
- vocational development;
- consumer education;
- community education; and
- community involvement.

The NT does not have a program of human capital development in the area of fisheries
R&D but is considering its design. Examples of areas in which projects focusing on
human capital development may be appropriate include training in new or improved
harvesting techniques, training in new or improved research methods, education and the
marketing of new products. An important aspect of human capital development is
succession planning and training of future leaders, executives, scientists, technicians
and committee members. No projects in any of these areas have been included in this
review but the subject has been raised as a matter to be addressed in future.


4 DETAILED STRATEGIC PROGRAM FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS
The R&D programs and projects for each of the fisheries or activities from 1998 to 2001
together with their outcomes were listed in the appropriate tables of the 2002 Plan.
Similarly, summaries of R&D programs and projects, and their progress, were listed for
revisions of the Plan in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. These sets of tables list the planned
outcomes, specific R&D outputs and projects from the revisions and provide the current
status of each project. Taken together, these two sets of tables provide a chronological
summary of fisheries R&D progress since 1998 (Tables 1A to 19A and Tables 1B to
19B).

The 2007-2011 R&D projects for each major fishery or fisheries activity need to take into
account the strategic outcomes outlined in Section 3 above. These projects are
represented diagrammatically in Tables 1c to 16c and 18c to 20c. The information
shown in each column of these diagrams is:

1. COLUMN 1 - this column identifies the general category of the fishery or activity
involved, for example wild harvest, aquaculture and technology, and where appropriate,
the principal species involved.

2. PLANNED OUTCOMES - these are the principal outcomes identified above -
sustainable harvesting of fish and other aquatic resources, growth of the aquaculture
industry, protection of aquatic biodiversity and implementation of aquatic ecosystem



                                             4
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

management; etc. Optimum utilisation of fish and other aquatic resources principally
picks up the development aspects of the Territory’s fisheries R&D Plan.

3. SPECIFIC R&D AND MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES - these are identified under
each principal outcome and, where possible, have been standardised across the
fisheries or activities considered. For example, a specific outcome under principal
outcomes for all fisheries is economic viability; bycatch is considered under protection of
biodiversity.

4. PROJECTS - the R&D projects identified as needed to address the above specific
R&D outputs are listed with the priority of each indicated by square brackets [ ] after
each. H = high; M = medium; and L = low.

5. FUNDING SOURCE - four categories of funding sources are used:
  - NT Government funded [NT];
  - Externally funded (ie. funded from sources other than the NT Government) [EXT];
  - Industry funded [IND]; and
  - Not yet funded [Y].

6. TIMETABLE - this column gives the proposed years of commencement and ending
of each project, or, if the project has not yet been funded, the proposed duration in
years.

In terms of fishery resource utilisation or for considering the R&D future priorities, there
are three distinct utilisation categories:,
 - Commercial industry;
 - Recreational fishing; and
 - Traditional fishing and Indigenous usage.

A fourth category - environment and consumers - has been included for this update. In
the examination of specific R&D outcomes, it is valuable to assign the levels of usage by
these categories for each fishery and activity. These are shown in a small table in the
textual preamble to each.

When assessing R&D priorities, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
(FRDC) identifies the 'attractiveness' and 'feasibility' of projects. In this context,
attractiveness includes factors such as status of the fishery, potential benefits to
stakeholders, conformity with government policy, costs of implementing the results, the
incremental contribution to the overall knowledge of the fishery and whether it will
contribute to the effective management of the resource. Feasibility is whether the project
will succeed and whether its results are likely to be adopted and improve the
management and sustainability of the resource.

R&D directions for each fishery and fisheries activity were based on the
recommendations from the Fishery Management Advisory Committees (MACs);
meetings, discussions and submissions from fishery-based stakeholder groups and
individual stakeholders; NT Fisheries analyses and NT Government policy.

Attainment of the specific R&D outputs set out in this Plan will ensure rational and
sustainable growth of the Territory's fishing and aquaculture industries for the benefit of
all users.

                                               5
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

5 SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING OF FISH AND OTHER AQUATIC
  RESOURCES

Description

Harvesting of fish and other aquatic resources can only be sustainable if the long-term
rate of harvest does not exceed the long-term rate of replenishment of the stock(s). The
information required to ensure adherence to this truism is complex, inherently imprecise
and often expensive to collect. Research on the status of fish populations and their
levels of sustainable utilisation provides fishery managers and stakeholders with
information on which to base management decisions. To be truly effective, the
objectives of any investigation must be very clear and focused. In the current climate of
diminishing R&D resources, a strict prioritisation and triage process should be applied to
ensure that the most pressing potential, actual and solvable problems relating to the
utilisation of aquatic resources are addressed.

The essential information required for ensuring sustainability of utilised fish populations
is their capacity to maintain replenishment levels. To assess this capacity in the context
of potential management strategies for each fishery, reliable stock assessment methods
and accurate relevant data are required. These data include:
   catch and effort distribution and spatial dynamics from commercial logbooks and
   fishing tour operator (FTO) logbooks;
   comprehensive information from other sectors such as recreational fishers and
   Indigenous communities (for example, the National Recreational and Indigenous
   Fishing Survey);
   population abundance/harvest rate surveys; and, relevant data on basic biology, such
   as growth, reproduction rates, behaviour and biomass;
   mortality rates, harvest rates. The models using the above information must provide
   reliable and reproducible quantitative information on stock productivity; as well as,
   analysis and understanding of fishery operations.

Advice on managing the target aquatic resources flows from these analyses. Given the
lack of information (or lack of some key data) for some fisheries there is a substantial
need for assessment of management options through modelling of likely outcomes of
various management scenarios. This capacity is being developed but the provision of
skilled services in this area is essential to making informed fisheries management
decisions.

Advice on how to maintain sustainable utilisation must be provided to the public and
commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries sectors through extension and
information services.

Planned outputs to 2011

Although there is a need to manage the whole ecosystems that contain the harvested
species, the R&D outputs planned for sustainable harvesting of major fishery and other
aquatic resources are targeted at providing the best available advice to fishery
managers on current levels of utilisation and on future levels that will not allow over-
exploitation to occur.




                                              6
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Major outcomes should include:
  production of stock assessment reports accepted by major client groups for the target
  fisheries resources. These should focus on sustainability indicators and trigger points,
  particularly estimates of utilisation rates and/or sustainable catch levels;
  regular reporting of research outputs to stakeholders; and
  research outputs consistent with the stated R&D priorities.

The risks of not addressing these R&D sustainable harvesting objectives include:
  sub-optimal outcomes, with substantial potential negative economic and social
  impacts through over-harvesting of stocks; and
  inadequate information available for NT Fisheries for the evaluation of proposals and
  inquiries from clients, lobby groups, etc.


6 EVALUATION OF PRINCIPAL NORTHERN TERRITORY FISHERY
   RESOURCES
As part of this update of the Northern Territory R&D Strategic Plan, a brief evaluation of
important fishery resources has been undertaken. This will take account of the effects
that all stakeholders are having on the resource; an important pre-condition to
determining the key strategic R&D that will be required in the coming years to address
the principal outcomes set out above. Further information on these resources can be
obtained from the Fisheries Status Reports available on the Fisheries website.




                                              7
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.1 BARRAMUNDI FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 1a, 1b AND 1c)
                            Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) is an iconic species for
STAKEHOLDER                 recreational fishing across northern Australia. It also supports
UTILISATION FOR             a valuable commercial fishery in Queensland and the
BARRAMUNDI                  Northern Territory. Overall, barramundi stocks in the NT
Commercial                  appear to be in a healthy condition. NT Fisheries reported
                     H
Industry                    the 2004 commercial landing from the whole fishery to be
Recreational                1094 tonnes (678 tonnes of barramundi alone). Based on
                     H
Fishing                     FISHCOUNT 1995 results, the retained recreational catch
Traditional Usage    H      was tentatively estimated to be at least 300 tonnes in 1996.
Environment and             The Indigenous take was not quantified. The National
                     H
Consumers
                            Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey estimated the
Key:
                            May 2000 to April 2001 recreational harvest to be 368 tonnes
H = Highly important
M = Medium importance
                            and the Indigenous catch to be 154 tonnes. Using the 2001
L = Low importance          calendar year commercial landings, the total take from the
NIL = No utilisation        barramundi stock would be in the vicinity of 1527 tonnes,
                            about 65 per cent being attributable to the commercial
fishery, 24 per cent to the recreational fishery and 11 per cent to Indigenous fishing. As
there have been no recent surveys of recreational and Indigenous catches, the current
allocation of catches between these sectors is not available.

Although harvesting of barramundi is at an acceptable level, any increase in commercial
landings and/or in recreational utilisation, may place the stocks at the upper level of their
sustainable harvest, at least in some of the more heavily recreationally fished river
systems such as the Mary and Daly rivers.

Thus, there is an ongoing need to monitor the status of the whole NT barramundi
resource, including high recreational usage areas such as the Mary and Daly rivers
(where fishing tour operators also tend to concentrate), the commercial fishery and
areas where there is recreational fishing but no commercial harvesting. To do this, data
sets from the various programs must be linked and considered jointly.

Also, the species is biologically very complex with several unknowns of some
management importance that need to be addressed. In view of the importance of
barramundi to recreational and commercial fishing, research and monitoring barramundi
stocks should continue, as well as provision of realistic yearly stock assessments across
the Northern Territory. Barramundi R&D is currently covered by several separate
projects. During the past decade there has been a substantial shift in recreational
barramundi fishing focus towards the mature fish living in estuarine and coastal waters,
with a big emphasis on catch and release. This targeting of mature fish raises some
issues in relation to impacts on spawning success and survival of those fish that are
released. As this trend increases and recreational fishing access is extended into
previously remote areas of the coast, knowledge of these impacts will become
increasingly important in assessing the status of the fishery.

While barramundi physiology and biology is now fairly well described, issues such as
resource allocation, changes in monitoring requirements and the loss or modification of
critical habitats need to be addressed. These and other issues pertinent to the
Barramundi Fishery were addressed at the National Barramundi Workshop, held in
Darwin, NT from 6-8 July 2005. The workshop was followed by the 2005 Australian


                                               8
                    UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Society for Fish Biology (ASFB) meeting in Darwin, at which the barramundi workshop
outcomes were presented.

The objectives of the National Barramundi Workshop were to provide:
  an overview of research and management of barramundi during the past 15 years;
  coordination and assimilation of current research and management on barramundi
  across jurisdictions;
  identification and examination of current and future issues and concerns in the
  barramundi fishery including:
                   stocking (open and closed systems);
                   habitat modification;
                   monitoring the recreational and Indigenous sectors;
                   bycatch, including interactions with ‘listed’ species;
  examination of the basis for various management controls:
                   Closed seasons;
                   Size limits;
                   Bag limits;
                   Mesh size;
                   Recreational fishing gear;
  development of a Northern Australian Barramundi Model.

Sustainable harvesting

Based on the outcomes of the National Barramundi Workshop and a workshop at the
ASFB meeting, there is still a need for continuing R&D attention to the NT barramundi
population. The priority projects identified (both continuing and new) include:
  monitoring of NT barramundi catch and effort by recreational and Indigenous fishing
  (see also 8 Recreational Fishing) and refinement of the data from the commercial
  fishery with an emphasis on the Mary and Daly rivers;
  refinement of barramundi age composition and stock structure information, including
  coordination of age data collection and transfer of information between agencies
  carrying out this work;
  independent estimates of abundance through sources such as annual closed area
  depletion sampling (Barracade) and analysis of data from recreational fishing
  competitions and tag returns;
  continued development of the North Australian Barramundi Model;
  investigation of the spawning triggers for the barramundi population and whether a
  seasonal closure is warranted for the recreational and commercial sectors. If so,
  during what times?

Protection of biodiversity

The principal aspects of biodiversity to be considered are management of barramundi
habitat and determination of the amount and composition of bycatch from the
commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries.

Projects

  Continue monitoring of estuarine and freshwater habitat requirements; and
  Continue collection of information on quantity and composition of bycatch from
  commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries.


                                               9
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


Optimum utilisation

Provide stock assessment input to an options paper on the allocation of the barramundi
resource between stakeholders, including economic and social benefits to the NT
community.

(See also sections on Recreational Fishing Development (page 55), Development of
further participation by Aboriginal People in Regional and Remote Communities in the
Commercial Seafood Industry (page 64) and Coastal Line Fishery (page 16)).


King threadfin salmon

King threadfin salmon (Polydactylus macrochir, previously P. sheridani) is the second
most important target species group for the commercial barramundi fishery and is also a
popular target species for the recreational fishery. In 2004, the NT threadfin catch was
377 tonnes, representing 34 per cent of the total landings from the commercial
barramundi fishery. Despite their fishery importance, surprisingly little is known about the
stock structure and basic biology of king threadfin in northern Australian waters, due to
past research focusing on barramundi. The future accreditation of the Barramundi
Fishery by the Department of Environment and Heritage under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act will require a legislated mandate
for a whole-of-ecosystem approach to fisheries management in which the ecological
sustainability of all harvested species must be assured, thus necessitating further
research on these species.

Projects

  Determination of the stock structure of king and blue threadfin salmon across the NT;
  Identify the timing and location of spawning sites for aggregations of king threadfin in
  the NT, and determine which stock(s) use these sites; and
  Establish fundamental biological parameters for each threadfin stock.




                                              10
                                                           UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 1c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE BARRAMUNDI FISHERY

                                                SPECIFIC R&D AND
                          PLANNED                                                                                                                                 FUNDING   DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                     MANAGEMENT                                                  2007 PROJECTS
                         OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                 SOURCES    (YEARS)
                                                   OUTCOMES
                                                                                Barramundi
                                                                                - Assessment catch and effort trends in commercial, recreational and                NT      2007-2011
                                                                                  Indigenous fishing for barramundi and king threadfin salmon, including
                                                                                  sustainability indicators, assessment of risks and development of trigger
                                                                                  points/ performance indicators [H].
                                                                                - Effects of catch and release on survival and reproduction of mature fish [H].    NT/EXT   2007-08
                                            Barramundi Fishery                  - New research on: precise location of spawning areas [M/H];, assessment of
                                             Management Plan revised with         changes in a closed billabong over the course of a dry season [M], levels of
                                             information on threadfin             crocodile predation [M], tracking movements of barramundi in tidal waters            Y    1 to 5 years
                       SUSTAINABLE           salmon included.                     [M], assessment of survival of stocked fish in freshwater impoundments
                       HARVESTING                                                 [L/M], refinement of habitat component in stock assessment model for Lates
                                            Environmental accreditation of        calcarifer [H].
                                             the fishery under the EPBC                                                                                                     3 years
                                                                                                                                                                       Y
                                             Act obtained.                      Threadfin salmon
                                                                                - Participate in the QLD FRDC project on stock structure of king and blue                   3 years
                                                                                                                                                                       Y
                                                                                   threadfin salmon across northern Australia [H].
                                                                                - Identify the timing and location of spawning sites for aggregations of king               3 years
                                                                                                                                                                       Y
   BARRAMUNDI                                                                      threadfin in the NT [H].
 AND THREADFIN                                                                  - Establish fundamental biological parameters for each threadfin stock [H].
      SALMON
  (Lates calcarifer                         Information on amount and
 and Polydactylus                             identity of bycatch from both
                                                                                - Continue monitoring of impact of gill nets on non-target species, including
     macrochir)                               commercial and recreational                                                                                           NT      2007-08
                                                                                  turtles, sawfish, dugong and crabs.
                      PROTECTION OF           fisheries.
                       BIODIVERSITY         Bycatch action plan for the
                                              commercial sector
                                              implemented.


                                            Basis for valuation of the social
                                              benefit associated with
                                              recreational barramundi
                                              fishing provided.
                                                                                                                                                                    NT/Y    2007
                         OPTIMUM            Optimum distribution of fishing     - Provide options paper on allocation of resources between stakeholders,
                        UTILISATION           effort between stakeholders         including economic and social benefits to the NT community.
                                              found.
                                            (See also Recreational Fishing
                                              and Coastal Net AND line sub-
                                              programs)




         Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                        NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded


                                                                                               11
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


6.2 MUD CRAB FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 2a, 2b AND 2c)
                            Mud crabs have been the basis for one of the Territory’s
STAKEHOLDER                 most valuable commercial, wild-harvest fisheries. Landings
UTILISATION FOR             exceeded 1000 tonnes in 2000 and 2001 with the maximum
MUD CRAB                    value reaching $9.61 million and catch rates doubling.
Commercial                  However, both Haddon et al (2004) and Knuckey (2005)
                     H
Industry                    have since reported a dramatic decline of more than 60 per
Recreational                cent in mud crab catch rates to about 425 tonnes in 2004,
                     M
Fishing                     with the commercial value falling to about $6.1 million.
Traditional Usage    M
Environment and            Several additional indicators suggested that the fishery may
                     M
Consumers
                           have been under considerable pressure since the 2000-01
Key:
                           peak, including reduced size of mating male crabs, fishing
H = Highly important
M = Medium importance
                           effort expanding over a broad area of the NT coast and
L = Low importance         increased fishing efficiency. However, it was not clear
NIL = No utilisation       whether the decline was actually caused by heavy
                           exploitation or environmental factors, possibly affecting
recruitment, or a combination of both.

Combined commercial returns for the 2001 calendar year and results from the National
Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey (carried out from May 2000 to April 2001),
indicated that the harvesting rates of mud crabs over that period were 85.2 per cent by
the commercial fishery, 5.6 per cent by recreational fishers and 9.2 per cent by
Indigenous fishers.

Past assessments based on catch per unit effort (CPUE) data alone did not provide
reliable stock estimates as commercial fishing practices promoted hyperstability in catch
per unit of effort (Walters, 1996). Actual exploitation rates for the fishery were estimated
by Walters to be as high as 70 per cent.

The initial detailed study on the NT mud crab population and the fishery was carried out
by Ian Knuckey in 1998. This study was the basis for a 1999 workshop held in Darwin
where research directions for the fishery were proposed. It was attended by industry and
government representatives from Western Australia, Queensland and the NT. Three
principal research phases were endorsed:

Phase 1: To develop a process to estimate relative productivity of mud crab habitat
         based on satellite imagery and abundance estimation techniques;
Phase 2: To use validated commercial catch and effort data as index of stock
         abundance; and
Phase 3: To develop a fishery independent index of stock abundance based on juvenile
          pre-recruit index.

New assessment methodology based on the relationship between mud crab habitat and
mud crab density has now been validated through a FRDC-funded project entitled
Methods for estimation of mud crab abundance and habitat across northern Australia.
The output from this project has provided a preliminary fishery independent method for
monitoring stock abundance.

                                              12
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


Based on the Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) Assessment Workshop (Haddon, 2004) held in
July 2004, a number of possible management options for the NT mud crab fishery were
formulated. A clear message was the need to reduce fishing mortality, especially for
females, implying that a reduction in effective effort was needed.

In May 2005 the NT Mud Crab Fishermen’s Association organised a further workshop to
provide a supplementary commercial industry perspective to the ongoing management
and research on the NT mud crab stocks (Knuckey 2005). The principal research
recommendation generated was that there is a pressing need for quantitative stock
assessment to be carried out.

In view of the NT Government concerns regarding over-exploitation, the Mud Crab
Fishery Management Plan was updated to increase the minimum size of commercially
caught crabs from 130mm for females and males to 150mm for females and 140mm for
males. There were no changes to the size limits for crabs caught by recreational or
Indigenous fishers. There has been strong opposition to these changes by mud crab
fishers who claim their catches (and profitability) have been seriously reduced.

In September 2002 the NT Mud Crab Fishery gained export permission following
accreditation by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and
Heritage (DEH) under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act. Although this exemption showed that the management regime was
working, it was also recognised that the ecological risk associated with harvesting
needed to be assessed, and the a set reference and trigger points were needed to
continue compliance. These requirements have been incorporated into R&D strategic
planning.

Funding is being sought for a national forum of industry stakeholders (industry members,
fishery managers and researchers) to present and review up-to-date fishery information.
An outcome of this forum would be to identify the most efficient means of conducting
phase three of the National Strategy for Mud Crab Research (development of a fishery
independent index of stock abundance based on juvenile pre-recruit index) and
documentation of future research directions.


Sustainable harvesting

In view of the high harvesting of year one recruits, it is necessary to closely monitor the
NT mud crab population for signs of over-harvesting, especially in areas of high fishing
intensity. Research indicated that the Fishing Mortality (F) for mud crabs is high and that
the annual Exploitation Rate (E) is between 70 per cent and 90 per cent. These high
rates are normally compensated by high fecundity and growth rates but if environmental
factors were to lower these rates the stock may fall. However, research has indicated
that Natural Mortality (M) in unfished stocks is also in the vicinity of 80 per cent. It is
important that monitoring of this fishery continue so that real trends in stock size and
exploitation rate can be rapidly identified, compared with the set reference and trigger
points and measures taken to correct them.




                                              13
                    UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Projects

  Review and continue monitoring of the status of the NT Mud Crab Fishery using
  commercial, recreational (see also 8 Recreational Fishing) and Indigenous (when
  available) catch, effort, size frequency data as well as area depletion experiments as
  required;
  A targeted project to assess the effect of increasing minimum carapace width on
  recruitment and catch;
  Development of a quantitative stock assessment model for NT mud crabs, including
  identification of further research needs and data gaps;
  Analysis and review of existing tagging data to establish survival and harvest rates;
  and
  Development and implementation of a pre-recruit index for mud crabs.


Protection of biodiversity

Due to the selectivity of the crab pots used in this fishery, there is little bycatch.
However, there is a need to quantify any bycatch that is taken and determine whether its
capture is having any effect on biodiversity. Collection of further information on bait
fishing with gill nets associated with the commercial fishery is required.


Project

  Study of bycatch from pots and bait nets for composition and abundance changes.


Optimum utilisation

From a commercial viewpoint, the industry Code of Practice, introduced in 2001, has
reduced mortality during post-harvest handling and transport of crabs. A Queensland-
NT- FRDC-funded project to investigate post-harvest survival of mud crabs commenced
in 2004 and has been completed.

There is a continuing requirement to determine the proportion of the overall catch being
taken by recreational and Indigenous fishers. This information was available through the
2000 National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey but future similar
recreational and Indigenous fishing surveys are needed.




                                            14
                                                          UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 2c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE MUD CRAB FISHERY

                         PLANNED                SPECIFIC R&D AND                                                                                       FUNDING       DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                             2007 PROJECTS
                        OUTCOMES             MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES                                                                                       SOURCES        (YEARS)

                                                                                     - Close monitoring of the status of the NT Mud Crab Fishery         NT        2007-2011
                                           Fishery assessment reports on the
                                                                                       using commercial, recreational and Indigenous (where
                                             status of NT stocks of mud crabs.
                                                                                       available) catch, effort, size frequency data as well as area
                                             These reports will include
                                                                                       depletion experiments as required [H].                            NT        2007-09
                                             sustainability indicators.
                                                                                     - A targeted project to assess the effect of increasing
                      SUSTAINABLE
                                                                                       minimum carapace width on recruitment and catch [H].
                      HARVESTING           Management Plan for the Mud Crab
                                                                                     - Development of a quantitative stock assessment model for         NT/EXT     End 2007
                                            Fishery reviewed for sustainability.
                                                                                       NT mud crabs, including further research, analysis and
                                                                                       review of existing tagging data to establish survival and
                                           Export accreditation under the EPBC
                                                                                       harvest rates [H].
                                            Act obtained for mud crab exports.
                                                                                     - Develop a pre-recruit index for mud crabs [M].                     Y        2007


                                           Bycatch from crab pots quantified and     - Continue analysis of data collected on bycatch from pots           Y        1 year
                                            whether its capture is affecting           [L].
                                            biodiversity determined.
                     PROTECTION OF
   MUD CRAB                                                                                                                                               Y        2 years
                      BIODIVERSITY                                                   - Develop study of bycatch from bait [M].
                                           The effects of bait fishing associated
 (Scylla serrata)
                                            with the commercial fishery also
                                            need to be addressed.


                                           The industry code of conduct refined,
                                            particularly in reduction of mortality
                                                                                     - Continue NT/QLD FRDC funded project on reduction of
                                            during post-harvest handling and                                                                             EXT       2007
                                                                                       post-harvest mortality due to handling and transport [M ].
                                            transport of crabs.

                                           Determination of the proportion of the    - Analysis data from 2000 National Recreational and
                        OPTIMUM
                                            overall catches being taken by             Indigenous Fishing Survey to estimate proportion of overall
                       UTILISATION          recreational and Indigenous fishers.       catch being taken by recreational and Indigenous fishers         NT/EXT     2007
                                            This information is available through      [M]
                                            the 2000 National Recreational
                                            Fishing Survey and future
                                            recreational and Indigenous fishing
                                            surveys.



              Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                         NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                             15
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


6.3 COASTAL LINE FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 3a, 3b AND 3c)

STAKEHOLDER                Even excluding major species such as barramundi, mud crab
UTILISATION FOR            and several minor species such as trepang, marine aquarium
COASTAL LINE               fish and some species of sharks, the NT coastal zone is very
FISHERY                    important to many fisheries stakeholders. It is a major
Commercial                 resource for anglers, fishing tour operators, commercial
                     M
Industry                   coastal line and Indigenous fishers and is also important for
Recreational               ecotourism operators. The best use strategy for these
                     H
Fishing                    resources will depend on the balance of its social and
Traditional Usage    H     economic values with resource sustainability and any
Environment and            environment degradation that may be caused by its use.
                     H
Consumers                  There are many species involved, for example, jewfish,
Key:                       snappers, emperors and cods, each with their own biological
H = Highly important
                           characteristics, making management of the zone as a whole
M = Medium importance
L = Low importance
                           complex and often expensive.
NIL = No utilisation
                           The total commercial Coastal Line Fishery catch for 2004
was 311 tonnes, the largest yet reported for this fishery, and was principally due to six
species - black jewfish, golden snapper, tricky snapper, stripey, redfish and shark. The
increase was attributed mostly to significant increases in the black jewfish and golden
snapper catches (see Fishery Status Report 2004 for more detail).

FISHCOUNT 1995 estimated that the total recreational catch was 690 tonnes of which
roughly one-third was black jewfish. The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing
Survey in 2000 estimated the recreational harvest of coastal line fish to be 580 tonnes in
the period May 2000 to April 2001. There is an urgent need to obtain up-to-date
recreational and Indigenous catch and effort data for this fishery (see also 8
Recreational Fishing).

A rough estimate of the Indigenous harvest over the same period was about 90 tonnes.
If the commercial catch of 141 tonnes for 2001 is included, the total amount harvested
from the NT coastal waters was about 810 tonnes, of which 17 per cent was from the
commercial sector, 71 per cent from the recreational sector and 11 per cent by
Indigenous fishers.

A preliminary fishery assessment conducted by Professor Carl Walters from the
University of British Columbia in 1996 indicated that the sustainable yield of coastal
species could be in the range of 100-1000 tonnes per annum, but this estimate was
based on only a small amount of information.

Concerns over possible localised excessive harvesting of coastal finfish resulted in the
commencement of the Coastal Fishery Research Project in 1995. Monitoring and
research of this fishery was terminated in October 2000 due to budgetary restraints. A
considerable amount of biological information on the five most important species was
collected during the operation of the project. This information is being processed as time
and resources permit.

An important finding from the initial work indicated that golden snapper are long-lived (up
to 25 years) and mature at a much larger size than originally thought. A positive and


                                              16
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

major outcome of this finding was the inclusion of golden snapper as a managed
species by the Territory Government.

Although total golden snapper catches have remained fairly constant, anecdotal
evidence suggests there is localised depletions in some areas. Increasing catches and
targeted fishing for black jewfish and high exploitation of their spawning aggregations
may render these stocks unsustainable in a few areas.

In view of the above, this review considered re-commencement of research on coastal
fisheries a high priority.

In addition to the Coastal Line Fishery, there is a small Coastal Net Fishery. Only 14.9
tonnes were taken from this fishery in 2004 and it was not considered to be a source of
significant harvesting of coastal resources. Mud Crab Fishery licences have
endorsements to use small bait nets in some coastal areas.


Sustainable harvesting

In view of the recent increase in recreational catches and commercial harvesting from
the coastal fishery resources, it is necessary to provide analyses of biological data
already collected to assist in the rational management of the stocks.

Projects

  Finalise analysis of biological data already collected and, when completed, identify
  further data and resources required to complete the research project and publish the
  results;
  Continue collection of the commercial catch and effort information needed for ongoing
  monitoring of the stocks;
  Collection of information on coastal recreational and Indigenous fishing (see also 8
  Recreational Fishing);
  Continue collection of biological data on the major species, especially black jewfish
  and golden snapper; and
  Develop methods to monitor the impact of fishing on spawning aggregations.


Protection of biodiversity

In view of the increasing fishing pressure on the coastal fish stocks in certain areas, the
amount of bycatch taken by commercial and recreational fishers needs to be quantified.

Projects

  Continue identification and quantification of bycatch taken by commercial and
  recreational fishers.




                                              17
                    UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Optimum utilisation

The central problem is one of resource allocation between alternative uses and users
with recreational effort being six times higher than the commercial effort. Apart from
sustainability issues, the challenges associated with stakeholder interaction and
resource allocation need to be addressed for this fishery.

Projects

  Investigation of the effects of cryptic mortality caused by catch and release on certain
  key species;
  Investigation of the effects of fishing on aggregating species; and
  Quantification of recreational harvest.




                                             18
                                                        UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 3c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE COASTAL LINE
          FISHERY

                                             SPECIFIC R&D AND
                       PLANNED                                                                                                                     FUNDING           DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                  MANAGEMENT                                           2007 PROJECTS
                      OUTCOMES                                                                                                                     SOURCES            (YEARS)
                                                OUTCOMES

                                                                           - Complete the analysis and publish the results of data already           NT/Y         2007-08
                                                                             collected during the previous research project [H].
                                         Status of principal coastal
                                                                           - Continue collection of the commercial, recreational and Indigenous       NT
                                           species provided, including
                                                                             catch and effort information needed for ongoing monitoring of the                    2007-08
                                           sustainability indicators.
                    SUSTAINABLE                                              stocks [H].
                    HARVESTING                                             - Assessment of the implications of target fishing on black jewfish.       Y           3 years
                                         Management Plan for coastal
                                                                             (Protonibea diacanthus) aggregations in the Northern Territory [H].
                                          species addressed.
                                                                           - Collection of information on coastal recreational fishing [H].           Y           2 years
                                                                           - Continue collection of biological data on the major species,             Y           3 years
                                                                             especially black jewfish and golden snapper [M].



 COASTAL LINE                            Report on species composition
                                          of principal sectors provided.
   FISHERY
                   PROTECTION OF                                           - Identification and quantification of bycatch taken by commercial,        Y           4 years
                    BIODIVERSITY         Risk assessment of impacts of       recreational and Indigenous sectors [M].
                                           fishing on bycatch/ byproduct
                                           carried out.


                                         Analysis of optimum economic      - The recreational component of the coastal line fishery is about six      Y           4 years
                                          and social benefits to             times the commercial catch. There is already some conflict
                                          stakeholders provided,             between stakeholders for the resource. There is also a need to
                      OPTIMUM
                                          including resource allocation.     improve recreational access to the resource [M].
                     UTILISATION
                                                                           - Investigate catch and release to estimate cryptic mortality for key      Y           4 years
                                                                              species.




      Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                      NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                          19
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.4 SPANISH MACKEREL RESOURCES (TABLES 4a, 4b and 4c)
                         The 2004 commercial catch of Spanish mackerel was 297
STAKEHOLDER
UTILISATION FOR          tonnes. In most years this catch includes a small proportion of
SPANISH MACKEREL         other Scomberomorus species. The 2000 National
Commercial               Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey reported a mixed
                     H   species mackerel harvest of around 66 tonnes from April 2000
Industry
Recreational
                         to May 2001, of which 49% are likely to have been Spanish
                     M   mackerel.
Fishing
Traditional Usage L
                         The general biology of Spanish mackerel is now reasonably
Environment and
Consumers
                     L   well known and Northern Territory research has been directed
                         at obtaining information pertinent to the management of the
Key:
H = Highly important
                         fishery and confirming information obtained on the species
M = Medium importance    from other areas in northern Australia.
L = Low importance
NIL = No utilisation     Sampling of commercial catches and detailed logbooks has
                         provided information for stock assessment, confirmed growth
relationships established for other Australian stocks and defined local reproductive
characteristics. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) project,
The Stock Structure of Northern and Western Australian Mackerel, has set the
appropriate geographic scale for managing mackerel stocks and identifying the levels of
interchange between stocks.

Modelling has been used extensively for this fishery to maximise the value of available
information. Dynamic models have provided a basic guide to research approaches by
summarising the current understanding of the stock. However, one of the most important
results from this modelling has been to reveal the extent of uncertainty about current
population levels or harvest rates.

As this species is strongly aggregating it is not amenable to the usual trawl or gill net
type surveys. Clear signals on harvest rates or abundance are unlikely to come from the
fishery in terms of catch rates unless overfishing is marked. It is critical for confident
management of the stocks that an improved method(s) for monitoring harvest rates
becomes available.

Some specific work should be carried out to address improvement of information used in
the models. Daily, spatially referenced logbook data for professional (commercial fishers
and fishing tour operators), recreational and Indigenous (see also 8 Recreational
Fishing) sectors and improved compliance with the cooperative catch information
program are highly desirable.

Harvest rate monitoring using an innovative bulk tagging methodology has been
conducted – a project based on genetic mark-recapture, Genetag, has been developed
and field tested by NT Fisheries in collaboration with the Queensland Department of
Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPIF) and partly funded by FRDC.

Mean size can also be used to track harvest rates, although this is not as effective as
tagging. For this reason, monitoring of catch rates and size and age composition of the
catch should also continue and its collection be included in the daily logbooks.



                                             20
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


Sustainable harvesting

As with all fisheries, sustainability depends on keeping the harvest rate at a level that will
not exceed recruitment. The projects for Spanish mackerel for the next five years are
aimed at quantifying this issue.

Projects

  Provide ongoing assessments of the NT Spanish mackerel stocks;
  Continue use of methodology for mark-recapture of Spanish mackerel, including bulk
  tagging methodology and recreational tagging protocols (recreational tagging
  tournament) in collaboration with the Genetag Project partially funded by FRDC;
  Provision of information for the management of the fishery using stock assessment,
  effort dynamics and population models to identify the potential of the fishery,
  including risk assessment and sustainability indicators;
  Pilot investigation of the value of morphometric information in monitoring the mackerel
  fishery.


Protection of biodiversity

To ensure that biodiversity is conserved and ecological management is implemented it is
necessary to define the trophic relationships between mackerel and its environment.
From an ecological viewpoint, description of diet and its associations is important.

As the fishery only uses lines, habitat damage is not a significant factor. However, to
provide information for evaluation under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA) by the Australian Government Department of
Environment and Heritage (DEH), bycatch information needs to be collected.

Projects

  Information on the diet of Spanish mackerel and bycatch to be collected during
  onboard monitoring, as a basis for ecosystem assessments; and
  Coincidental collection of biological information on other pelagic species.


Optimum utilisation

While the stock size and resilience is being defined, there is also a need to gather
information on the fishery harvest levels for each of the commercial, recreational and
Indigenous sectors.

There may be a need for market research to investigate reasons for market prices not
reflecting the high eating quality, storage and health attributes of Spanish mackerel.




                                               21
                    UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Projects

  Seeking a means to differentiate the Scomberomorus species in the catch estimations
  from the recreational fishery in the 2000 National Recreational and Indigenous
  Fishing Survey; and
  Market research to investigate reasons for market prices not reflecting the high eating
  quality, storage and health attributes of Spanish mackerel.




                                            22
                                                         UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 4c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE SPANISH MACKEREL
           FISHERY

                                              SPECIFIC R&D AND
                        PLANNED                                                                                                                      FUNDING            DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                   MANAGEMENT                                            2007 PROJECTS
                       OUTCOMES                                                                                                                      SOURCES             (YEARS)
                                                 OUTCOMES

                                          Fishery assessment reports on       - Provision of ongoing assessments of the NT Spanish mackerel            NT        2007-2011
                                            the status of the NT stocks of      stocks [H].
                                            Spanish mackerel, including
                                            sustainability indicators.        - Implementation Genetag tagging mark-recapture technology for          NT/EXT     2007-09
                                                                                Spanish mackerel, including recreational tagging protocols [H].
                                          Management Plan for Spanish
                                           mackerel fishery reviewed.         - Provision of information for the management of the fishery using
                     SUSTAINABLE
                                                                                stock assessment, effort dynamics and population models to            NT/EXT     2007-09
                     HARVESTING           New tagging methodology               identify the potential of the fishery, including risk assessment
                                           developed and applied to             and sustainability indicator [H].
                                           improve accuracy of stock
                                           modelling.                         - Pilot investigation of the value of morphometric information in         Y        4 years
                                                                                monitoring the mackerel fishery [M].
                                          Environmental accreditation
                                           under the EPBC Act obtained.

    SPANISH
   MACKEREL                               The trophic relationships           - Information on diet of Spanish mackerel and bycatch to be               Y        4 years
(Scomberomorus                             between mackerel and its             collected during onboard monitoring [L].
  commerson)                               environment defined, including
                                           description of diet and its        - Coincidental collection of biological information on other pelagic      Y        4 years
                    PROTECTION OF
                                           associations. Non-target catch       species [M].
                     BIODIVERSITY          documented.

                                          Risk assessment of fishery
                                            impacts on bycatch/ byproduct


                                          Information on the harvest levels
                                                                              - Further analysis of information on recreational and Indigenous
                                            of the commercial, recreational                                                                           NT/EXT     2006
                                                                                harvest collected during the 2000 National Recreational Fishing
                                            and Indigenous sectors
                                                                                Survey [M]
                       OPTIMUM              gathered.
                      UTILISATION                                             - Project to evaluate catch sharing between commercial,
                                          Equitable and optimised catch                                                                                 Y        2 years
                                                                                recreational and Indigenous fishers[M]
                                           sharing between shareholder
                                           groups implemented.




       Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                        NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded


                                                                                             23
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.5 OFFSHORE NET AND LINE FISHERY (TABLES 5a, 5b and 5c)
                            The key target species in the Offshore Line and Net Fishery
STAKEHOLDER                 (previously the Shark Fishery) are the blacktip sharks
UTILISATION FOR             (Carcharhinus tilsoni and C. sorrah), and grey mackerel
OFFSHORE NET AND            (Scomberomorus semifasciatus) with a number of other
LINE FISHERY                sharks and finfish being landed or taken as bycatch. The
Commercial                  total catch for all species in the fishery for 2004 was 1559
                     H
Industry
                            tonnes, a slight decrease from 2003 (1687 tonnes). The total
Recreational                shark catch for 2004 was 1089 tonnes, increasing from 899
                     L
Fishing
                            tonnes in 2003. The major contributor was grey mackerel,
Traditional Usage    M
                            declining from 766 tonnes in 2003 to 481 tonnes (30 per cent
Environment and
                     M      of the total catch) in 2004. The annual landings of blacktip
Consumers
                            sharks fell from 501 tonnes in 2003 to 449 tonnes in 2004.
Key:
H = Highly important
                            The catches of sharks and mackerels in this fishery have
M = Medium importance       been highly variable largely in response to effort trends but
L = Low importance          there has been a strong increasing trend in catches since
NIL = No utilisation        1999. The 2000 National Recreational and Indigenous
                            Fishing Survey did not record the individual NT harvest but
reported that 1300 tonnes of sharks and rays were taken nationally over the survey
period with 81 per cent of these not being retained. Indigenous communities in northern
Australia harvested more than 12,000 sharks and rays over the survey period, indicating
that these species are relatively important to coastal Indigenous communities.

Although assessments of the northern shark resources during the past decade have
indicated that there may be a relatively large population of sharks off northern Australia,
they have also suggested that only a small amount can be sustainably harvested each
year (6-7 per cent of the net vulnerable component). This is supported by a substantial
decline in catch per unit effort (CPUE) since the ending of foreign operations in the mid
1980s. This decline may be due to an unaccounted removal of about 1500 tonnes a year
from the stock by unreported foreign fishing in the Arafura Sea but outside the Australian
Fishing Zone (AFZ) and/or a slow depletion of inshore stocks without being replenished
by migration from offshore stocks. The NT fishery is presently based almost entirely on
these inshore stocks.

In view of the considerable uncertainty in stock responses to fishing as shown by recent
studies, as well as the slow growth rate of sharks, late age of sexual maturity and low
fecundity of the species involved, a conservative approach to management of the shark
fishery has been adopted by the NT.

The Territory has undertaken dedicated research on the shark fishery in recent years,
largely under external funding. The importance and need for careful management of
northern sharks has been recognised by the Northern Australian Fisheries Committee,
with the development of the Northern Australian Strategic Plan for Sharks 2005 to 2010.
This embraces the Northern Australian Operational Plan for Sharks and Northern
Australian Operational Plan for Compliance and, in turn, the Strategic Research Plan for
Northern Sharks. Under the latter there are the Data Working Group and the Northern
Shark Assessment Group. The latter is charged with ensuring regular assessment of the
shark fishery as well as indicating data required to improve the quality of information
available for assessment and to reduce uncertainty.



                                              24
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Sustainable harvesting

The key recommendation from the 1997 Shark Assessment Workshop was the
establishment of a cooperative program with commercial fishers to provide a 'fishery
independent' index of stock trends along the Territory coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
To meet this end, an application for funding of collaborative research with Charles
Darwin University and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has been awarded
with the Australian Research Council Linkage Grant program. The 1997 workshop also
strongly recommended that a concerted effort be made to obtain fishery statistics from
foreign fisheries operating in the Arafura Sea north of the AFZ and, if possible, statistics
from those operating illegally inside the AFZ. This is now the subject of concerted
research by fisheries agencies concerned with northern Australian sharks. Reduction of
the uncertainty in assessments and predictions is the key to ensuring sustainable
harvesting for this stock/fishery. A further important element in reducing this uncertainty
is continuing to assess the quantities and species of shark bycatch from other
commercial and recreational fisheries. Assessment and management of shark bycatch is
the objective of several current and proposed assessments and projects.

Environmental accreditation under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act has been provided for the Northern Territory Offshore Net and Line
Fishery.

Projects

  Analysis and refinement of grey mackerel catch and effort information from fishers’
  logs;
  When available, information from fleets operating outside the AFZ;
  Initiate assessment of grey mackerel, and develop and test monitoring protocols;
  Continued participation in the FRDC-funded project, Northern Australian sharks and
  rays: the sustainability of target and bycatch species, phase; and
  Use tagging of sharks to monitor harvest rates.


Protection of biodiversity

A key element in protecting the biodiversity of shark resources in the NT is determining
the species and quantity of retained and incidental bycatch. Any important effect that the
fishery may be having on the species composition of elasmobranches and other aquatic
species also should be investigated.

Projects

  Continue participation in the FRDC-funded project, Northern Australian sharks and
  rays: the sustainability of target and bycatch species, phase 2 (see above);
  Participate in the FRDC-funded project, Determination of Management Units for grey
  mackerel fisheries in Queensland and the NT;
  Participate in the Northern Territory Fusing Industry Research and Development Fund
  (NTFIRDF)-funded project, Summary of information and preliminary assessment of
  grey mackerel;
  Collection of bycatch data from commercial shark fishers and evaluation of bycatch
  risk assessment.

                                              25
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


Optimum utilisation

There a strong need for market development of products from the shark catches.
However, the principal aspect of optimum utilisation requiring attention is an assessment
of the quantity of commercial sharks taken outside the current fishing areas by illegal
foreign fishers. At present there is no significant targeting of sharks by the recreational
fishery but there appears to be substantial incidental catches, similar to other Australian
states.




                                              26
                                                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 5c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR OFFSHORE NET AND LINE
           FISHERY

                     PLANNED            SPECIFIC R&D AND MANAGEMENT                                                                                    FUNDING        DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                              2007 PROJECTS
                    OUTCOMES                      OUTCOMES                                                                                             SOURCES         (YEARS)

                                       Fishery assessment reports on the status of    - Analysis and refinement of grey mackerel catch and effort        NT         2007
                                         the fishery with increased precision of        information from fishers’ logs including, when available,
                                         assessments and predictions produced.          information from fleets operating outside the AFZ [H].
                                         These reports contain sustainability
                                         indicators.                                  - Initiate assessment of grey mackerel, and develop and test        Y         2007
                                                                                        monitoring protocols [M].
                  SUSTAINABLE           Management Plan for the shark and grey
                  HARVESTING             mackerel fishery revised.                    - Continued participation in the FRDC funded project               EXT        2007
                                                                                        Northern Australian sharks and rays: the sustainability of
                                       Environment accreditation under the EPBC         target and bycatch species, phase 2 [H].
                                        Act received.
                                                                                      - Investigate feasibility of tagging sharks to monitor harvest      Y         3 years
                                       Operational Plan of Action for Northern          rates [H].
                                        Australian Shark Fisheries agreed with
                                        Queensland and WA.

                                                                                      - Continue participation in the FRDC-funded project                EXT        2007
                                                                                        Northern Australian sharks and rays: the sustainability of
 SHARKS AND                                                                             target and bycatch species, phase 2 [H]
GREY MACKEREL                                                                         - Participate in the FRDC-funded project Determination of          EXT        2007-08
                                       Species composition and quantity of retained
                                                                                        Management Units for grey mackerel fisheries in
                                        and incidental bycatch determined.
                 PROTECTION OF                                                          Queensland and the NT [M].                                       NT
                  BIODIVERSITY                                                        - Participate in the NTFIRDF-funded project Summary of                        2007-08
                                        Risk assessment of the impacts of catch on
                                                                                        information and preliminary assessment of grey mackerel           Y
                                         bycatch and byproduct.
                                                                                        [H].                                                                        2007-08
                                                                                      - Collection of bycatch data from commercial shark fishers          Y
                                                                                        [M].                                                                        2007-08
                                                                                      - Evaluate bycatch risk assessment [L].                             Y


                                        The economics and profitability of the        - Industry projects to assess the need of a food safety plan        Y         2 years
                                         commercial shark fishery assessed by the        for the NT shark fishery and examination of potential
                                         commercial industry, including assessment       markets for utilisation of bycatch species [M].
                    OPTIMUM              of current and potential market
                   UTILISATION           improvements.

                                       Benefits accruing to the NT from harvesting
                                        shark resources optimised.



                Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                        NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded



                                                                                        27
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.6 OFFSHORE SNAPPER RESOURCES
                           The species from these resources contribute to three
STAKEHOLDER                separate licensed commercial fisheries - the Timor Reef
UTILISATION FOR            Fishery, the Demersal Fishery and the Finfish Trawl Fishery.
OFFSHORE SNAPPER           The majority of the catch in the Timor Reef and Demersal
RESOURCES                  fisheries consists of goldband and sharp-toothed snapper,
Commercial                 while ruby emperor (saddletail snapper) and red snapper
                     H
Industry
                           dominate in the Finfish Trawl Fishery. For this reason R&D is
Recreational               considered jointly for the Timor Reef and Demersal fisheries
                     L
Fishing
                           and separately for the Finfish Trawl Fishery.
Traditional Usage    Nil
Environment and
                     L   The snapper resources in the Arafura and Timor Seas have
Consumers
                         been studied by trawl surveys and other biological projects
Key:
H = Highly important
                         since the late 1980s. These resources were harvested by
M = Medium importance    Taiwanese, Japanese and Thai fishers from the early 1970s
L = Low importance       until foreign fishing in the AFZ was terminated in 1990. The
NIL = No utilisation     peak catch (all species combined) was 10,000 tonnes in
                         1983 from the Arafura Sea. The combined landings from all
NT- based offshore fisheries in 2003 was about 950 tonnes from the Finfish Trawl
Fishery, 130 tonnes from the Demersal Fishery and 450 tonnes from the Timor Reef
Fishery. The harvest of these offshore species by recreational fishers is minimal.
Indigenous communities do not harvest these stocks.

The catch from the portion of this resource outside the AFZ was not known but it was
believed to be considerable. Management arrangements are based on the knowledge of
snapper stock relationships which support management as separate Australian stock.
Future quantification of the available shared stocks would be enhanced by information
from adjacent fisheries and finer spatial information with respect to the location of
juvenile grounds and the degree of mixing between populations.

Overall, it appears that the resources in the Timor Reef Fishery are reaching full
sustainable harvesting level but the goldband stocks from other areas appear to be well
below their sustainable limits.

The future R&D of the offshore red snapper resources was discussed at a joint
industry/government workshop in 2000. Since then there has been further industry
discussion on the development and management of these resources, principally in the
areas of marketing and gear development.




                                            28
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.6.1 TIMOR REEF FISHERY (TABLES 6a, 6b AND 6c)

Sustainable harvesting

The research objectives for this fishery are to determine the sustainability yield
indicators and to provide further biological and population parameter information on
goldband snapper for incorporation into stock assessment models and, in the longer
term, to monitor sustainability of the harvested stock. There is also a need to develop
joint initiatives with adjacent domestic and overseas (Indonesia and East Timor)
management agencies for collection and analysis of data to improve the understanding
of the stocks and the reliability of the sustainability estimates.

The age, growth and reproductive characteristics and stock structure of target species
(Pristipomoides multidens) have been studied as part of a collaborative project between
the NT, the CSIRO and Indonesia.

Projects

  Continue monitoring of catch and effort information provided by fishers in each
  fishery;
  Detailed analysis of fine-scale spatial data for the fishery using GIS spatial statistical
  methods and fuzzy rule-based modelling;
  Location of juvenile snapper sites for commercially important species;
  GIS fuzzy-based logic.


Protection of biodiversity

Although the bycatch taken by traps and lines is less than 1 per cent, this continues to
be monitored through logbooks and observer trips.

Projects

  Collection of information on bycatch through logbooks and annual onboard monitoring
  of fish catches by NT Fisheries staff;
  Bycatch risk assessment.


Optimum utilisation

There are no specific R&D projects required at this time.




                                              29
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.6.2 DEMERSAL FISHERY (Figures 6a, 6b, 6c)
The Demersal Fishery is a multi-species dropline and trap fishery in waters 15 nautical
miles off the NT coast. This fishery uses the same fishing methods as the Timor Reef
Fishery and targets the same species – i.e. the composition of the catch in 2003 was
goldband snapper (52 per cent), red emperor (6 per cent) and saddletail snapper (26 per
cent). The total catch from the fishery in 2003 was 144 tonnes with only three of the
possible licences being active in 2004. Recreational fishers take moderate amounts of
snapper and emperor in the part of this fishery closest to the NT coast. As the stocks
harvested are common across the Arafura and Timor Sea region, research on the
demersal stocks is carried out jointly with the Timor Reef Fishery investigations.


Sustainable harvesting

The R&D objectives for this resource relate to refining its stock and sustainability
estimates and to the further development of the demersal fishery.

Projects

  Continue monitoring of catch and effort information provided by fishers and assess
  any localised depletion;
  Location of juvenile snapper sites for commercially important species.


Protection of biodiversity

The reported level of bycatch from the demersal fishery is estimated to be less than 1
per cent of the total catch. Non-retained species include Chinaman fish (Symphorus
nematophorus), red sea bass (Lutjanus bohar), big eye trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus)
and starry triggerfish (Abalistes stellatus).

Projects

  Continue collection and collation of baseline information on bycatch and byproduct.


Optimum utilisation

In recent years many Timor Reef fishers (who also hold Demersal licences) have begun
exploring grounds immediately adjacent to the Timor Reef Fishery for goldband snapper.
This has led to an expansion of fishing effort in the Demersal Fishery since 2001.

Projects

There are no specific R&D projects required at this time.




                                             30
                                                         UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 6c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE TIMOR REEF AND
           DEMERSAL FISHERIES

                          PLANNED             SPECIFIC MANAGEMENT AND                                                                                     FUNDING              DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                                 2006 PROJECTS
                         OUTCOMES                  R&D OUTCOMES                                                                                           SOURCES               (YEARS)

                                                                                         - Continue monitoring of catch and effort information               NT             2005-09
                                                                                           provided by fishers [H].
                                              Environmental accreditation obtained
                                               under the EPBC Act.                       - Detailed analysis of fine-scale spatial data for the fishery     EXT             2005-07
                                                                                           using GIS spatial statistical methods and fuzzy rule-based
                                              Fishery assessment reports on the            modelling [H].
                       SUSTAINABLE              status of NT stocks of
                       HARVESTING               Pristipomoides spp. These reports        - Monitoring species and size composition of the                    Y              2005-09
                                                include sustainability indicators.         commercial catch [M].

                                                                                         - Location of juvenile snapper sites [M].                           Y              2 years

                                                                                         - Determine sustainable harvest levels for red emperor (L.          Y              3 years
                                                                                           sebae) [H]

                                                                                         - Formation of a research assessment group including                NT             2 years
                                                                                           industry and Fisheries staff [H]
  TIMOR REEF
 AND DEMERSAL
                                              Other than protection of the stocks
   FISHERIES                                   from over- exploitation, there does                                                                           NT             2005-09
                                                                                         - Collection of bycatch data from the snapper fishery
                                               not appear to be any need for
                                                                                           through log books and its collation [M].
                      PROTECTION OF            specific projects aimed at protecting
                       BIODIVERSITY            biodiversity.                                                                                                 NT             2005-09
                                                                                         - Assessment of damage caused by the use of traps in
                                                                                           Timor Reef and Demersal fisheries [M].
                                              Risk assessment of any impacts of
                                                taking bycatch/byproduct obtained.


                                              Any problems of resource allocation
                                               addressed although there is little
                                               interaction between commercial and
                                               other stakeholder groups except           - No specific project.
                         OPTIMUM
                                               foreign operations to the north of the
                        UTILISATION            AFZ line.

                                              A sustainable economic fishery
                                                developed


      Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                                NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded



                                                                                             31
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.6.3 FINFISH TRAWL FISHERY (7a, 7b AND 7c)
A total of 968 tonnes was caught in the Finfish Trawl Fishery in 2003, indicating that it is
developing into a major NT fishery. Saddletail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus) and red
snapper (Lutjanus erythropterus) comprised 77 per cent of the landed catch, with
goldband snapper and red emperor also taken.

The Finfish Trawl Fishery comprises a single trawl operator fishing in offshore waters
north-east of Darwin and includes the northern region of the Gulf of Carpentaria.


Sustainable harvesting

The research objectives for this fishery are to determine the sustainability yield
indicators and to provide further biological and population parameter information on
saddletail snapper and red snapper for incorporation into stock assessment models and,
in the longer term, to monitor sustainability of the harvested stock. There is also a need
to develop joint initiatives with adjacent domestic and overseas (Indonesia) management
agencies for collection and analysis of data to improve the understanding of the stocks
and the reliability of the sustainability estimates.

The age, growth and reproductive characteristics and stock structure of L. malabaricus
and L. erythropterus have been studied as part of a collaborative project between the
NT, CSIRO and Indonesia.

Projects

  NT Fisheries is liaising with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and
  Fisheries (QDPIF) to undertake a collaborative stock assessment of saddletail and
  red snappers in the Gulf of Carpentaria;
  Identification of nursery areas for juvenile red and saddletail snapper;
  Collection and processing of red and saddletail snapper otoliths to improve age
  estimates for these species. Previous studies have concentrated on adult fish;
  Continued monitoring of this fishery through logbooks and onboard monitoring for
  target, byproduct, bycatch and protected species interactions;
  Update stock assessment estimates for L. malabaricus, L. erythropterus once new
  information has been obtained;
  Undertake a fishery independent survey of the trawl grounds in the Arafura Sea to
  determine if there has been a recovery of stocks since cessation of foreign trawling 15
  years ago.


Protection of biodiversity

Fishing operations are conducted using a semi pelagic demersal trawl that was
developed to minimise habitat disturbance while ensuring commercial catch rates are
maintained. Onboard monitoring has indicated that bycatch comprises only 17 per cent
of the total catch. A high proportion of the discarded species (by weight) is sharks and
rays which are returned to the sea alive.




                                              32
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Projects

  Continued monitoring of bycatch by NT Fisheries staff;
  Bycatch risk assessment


Optimum utilisation

Projects

There are no specific R&D projects required at this time.




                                             33
                                                        UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 7c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE FINFISH TRAWL
          FISHERY

                         PLANNED                 SPECIFIC R&D AND                                                                                          FUNDING        DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                               2007 PROJECTS
                        OUTCOMES              MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES                                                                                          SOURCES         (YEARS)

                                                                                     - Continue monitoring of information provided by fishers [H].           NT       2009-2011

                                                                                     - Location of juvenile snapper sites [M].                                Y       2 years
                                            Fishery assessment report on the
                                                                                     - Collaboration with Queensland DPI to update red snapper
                                              status of the NT stocks of red
                                                                                       stock assessment estimations, especially in Gulf of                    Y       2007-09
                      SUSTAINABLE             snapper. These reports include
                                                                                       Carpentaria [H].
                      HARVESTING              sustainability indicators.
                                                                                     - Fishery independent surveys to determine if there has been             Y       2 years
                                            Environmental accreditation for export
                                                                                       rebuilding of stocks since the cessation of foreign trawling [H].
                                             under the EPBC Act obtained.
                                                                                     - Formation of a Research Assessment Group which includes               NT       2 years
                                                                                       both Industry and Fisheries staff [H]
   FINFISH
  FISHERIES
                                            Other than protection of the stocks
                                             from over-exploitation, there does      - Collation of baseline information on bycatch and byproduct            NT       2007-2011
                                             not appear to be any need for             [M].
                     PROTECTION OF           specific projects aimed at protecting
                      BIODIVERSITY           biodiversity.                           - Maintain a watching brief on the conflicts that may occur
                                                                                       between geological exploration and mining and this fishery.            Y       2007-2011
                                            Risk assessment of any impacts of
                                              taking bycatch/byproduct obtained.


                        OPTIMUM             A sustainable economic fishery           - No projects at this time                                              NT       2006-07
                       UTILISATION            developed.




                Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                        NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                           34
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.7 TREPANG FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 8b AND 8c)
                            Fishing for trepang (also known as bêche-de-mer) by
STAKEHOLDER                 Macassan trepangers occurred for about 400 years on the
UTILISATION FOR             Northern Territory coast until the early part of the 20th
TREPANG                     century. However, due to dwindling supplies of trepang from
Commercial                  other parts of the world and a resultant increase in trepang
                     H
Industry                    prices, the fishery has again become commercially viable in
Recreational                northern Australia and is now a significant Territory fishery.
                     Nil
Fishing
Traditional Usage    Nil    Management of trepang is difficult due to problems of
Environment and             obtaining information needed to carry out reliable stock
                     L
Consumers
                            assessment. At present, catch and effort data from log books
Key:
                            is the only information being collected. The NT has managed
H = Highly important
M = Medium importance
                            the stocks on a conservative basis in view of the unknown
L = Low importance          effects of fishing on NT stocks and reports of collapses in
NIL = No utilisation        heavily exploited overseas stocks.

The area currently approved for harvesting trepang consists of shallow intertidal areas
from high water mark to the NT territorial baselines. There are now moves to explore
harvesting of trepang stock in deeper water outside the baselines. This proposal has
been considered in depth by the NT Fisheries Development Opportunities Committee
(NTFDOC) which has recommended no action is taken until further information is
available on the species composition and distribution between the declared fishery (ie.
out to two nautical miles from the baselines) and the area seaward of this fishery. One of
the two applicants for a licence to fish outside the boundaries of the present fishery has
stated that they will carry out a research program to investigate these factors. The
NTFDOC has agreed to assess the outcome of this work before making any
recommendations on changes to the management of trepang in NT waters.

Currently the number of licences to take trepang is restricted to six.

The sudden collapse of trepang fisheries throughout the Pacific region suggests that a
large amount of the stock was being removed by fishing, and that recruitment may be
dependent on adult density. This collapse suggests that larval transport is quite limited,
and/or that an allee effect is apparently in action (an allee effect is dispensatory
recruitment at low spawner densities and can occur where, for example, juveniles rely
on adults for protection from predation in some way).

Environment Australia funded the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT to carry out
research on sustainable harvesting of trepang on the Cobourg Peninsula and Arnhem
Land coasts. A draft report on this work was completed but not published. Export
accreditation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act has
been obtained.

To provide more precise information on the time and spatial dynamics of fishery
operations, fishery data on catches and effort should be collected on fine scales (for
example, daily spatially referenced records of catch numbers and weight). It must be
emphasised, however, that logbook data alone is unlikely to provide answers to the real
management questions.



                                              35
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


Sustainable harvesting

A key factor to maintain sustainable harvesting of trepang is reliable information on
recruitment and migration rates on which to establish the periodicity needed to replenish
fished areas.

Projects

  Further development of the detailed catch and effort monitoring program;
  Assessment of offshore trepang stocks;
  Study on replenishment rates for fished areas; and
  Assessment of the relative species distribution and abundance between the inshore
  and offshore areas.


Protection of biodiversity

No bycatch is taken during collecting operations for trepang.

Project

  Evaluation of any proposals to supplement or enhance the wild stock fishery by
  aquaculture or other means.


Optimum utilisation

Optimum utilisation of the trepang resources relates to the replenishment rates of areas
fished and there seems to be little to be done in the question of processing and value
adding.


NB. There were no analytical tables available for the 1998 to 2002 period.




                                             36
                                                       UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 8c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE TREPANG FISHERY

                       PLANNED                 SPECIFIC R&D AND                                                                                      FUNDING             DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                            2007 PROJECTS
                      OUTCOMES              MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES                                                                                      SOURCES              (YEARS)

                                                                                  - Further develop the collection of detailed fishery catch and        NT          2007-09
                                                                                    effort data to improve the monitoring program [H].
                                         Reliable information obtained on
                                          recruitment and migration rates to
                                                                                  - Stock abundance and distribution project being planned for          IND         3 years
                                          establish the periods needed to
                                                                                    inshore waters by industry [H].
                    SUSTAINABLE           replenish fished areas.
                    HARVESTING                                                    - Assessment of the relative species distribution and abundance       IND         2007-09
                                         Environmental accreditation for export
                                                                                    between the inshore and offshore areas [H].
                                          under the EPBC Act obtained.
                                                                                  - Gathering of basic biological information and determination of       Y          2007-09
                                                                                    population parameters [H].
   TREPANG

                                         A conservative approach to               - Evaluation of any proposals to supplement or enhance the wild
                   PROTECTION OF
                                           management of Northern Territory         stock fishery by aquaculture or other means and its                  Y          2-3 years
                    BIODIVERSITY           Trepang Fishery adopted.                 relationship to natural stock replenishment rates [M]


                                                                                  - Assessment of results of industry project on stock abundance
                                                                                    and distribution [M].                                                Y          2 years
                      OPTIMUM            Development opportunities for the NT
                     UTILISATION          trepang resource optimised.
                                                                                  - Modelling of management/monitoring combinations for                  Y          2 years
                                                                                    optimum utilisation. [H]




             Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                      NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                        37
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

6.8 AQUARIUM FISHERY RESOURCES (TABLES 9b AND 9c)
                           The Northern Territory Aquarium Fishery was worth more
STAKEHOLDER                than $270,000 in 1993, of which the greater proportion
UTILISATION FOR            comprised either marine or exotic species. The 1998 total
AQUARIUM FISHERY           value of the industry was estimated to be between $600,000
RESOURCES                  and $700,000. Export of live native freshwater and marine
Commercial                 aquarium fish, including corals, was undoubtedly a significant
                     H
Industry
                           contributor to this increase. This fishery provides a valuable
Recreational               part of the income of the small operators involved. Since
                     L
Fishing
                           1995, almost 1.1 million individual aquatic organisms have
Traditional Usage    Nil
                           been harvested within the Aquarium Fishery. This is a very
Environment and
                     M     prospective fishery.
Consumers
Key:
H = Highly important
                           In 2004 the seven most common freshwater species
M = Medium importance      harvested were catfish (14.4 per cent), archerfish (9.2 per
L = Low importance         cent), rainbowfish (8.7 per cent), saratoga (4.1 per cent),
NIL = No utilisation       glassfish (3.9 per cent), scats (3.2 per cent) and gudgeons
                           (2.1 per cent). In addition to hermit crabs, corallimorphs
(jewel anemones, 7.4 per cent), corals (3.2 per cent), yellowtail grunter (1.8 per cent)
and clownfish (1.2 per cent) were the most common marine species harvested.

The harvest area includes all inland waters (freshwater) and waters seaward from the
coastline to the outer boundary of the Australian Fishing Zone (marine), other than from
designated no-harvest areas and certain protected areas.

The major areas presently utilised for the commercial collection of freshwater fish are
streams and creeks in proximity of Darwin and the Adelaide and Daly river systems.
Commercial harvesting of marine species is concentrated in coastal waters near
Nhulunbuy, although some marine harvesting occurs in the Darwin area.

The harvest of undersized barramundi is permitted by some licensees within the fishery
but is restricted to a maximum of 1000 individuals per licence. Similarly, Spanish
mackerel, mud crab, Macrobrachium and Cherax species are not to be taken without the
approval of the Director of Fisheries.

In addition to the industry based on native species there is also an important industry on
the propagation and sale of a large number of exotic ornamental species such as
goldfish and swordtails. People like to keep fish as pets and fish hobby groups have
developed considerable expertise in maintaining, breeding and recognising different
suites of aquarium fishes. The trade provides employment to thousands of people
across Australia and its value is considerable. In 1999 the trade (including food,
accessories and tanks) was valued at $135-150 million with about 800 pet fish shops
employing about 5000 people. A 2002 report suggested that annual turnover at the retail
level was between $75 million and $90 million. Most of this information is from a recent
Kailola assessment.

There is no separate information on the value of ornamental aquarium organisms for the
Territory but there is little doubt that it is significant.




                                             38
                      UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

Sustainable harvesting

The aims in managing this fishery are to ensure that the harvesting is carried out in
accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and
fisheries ecosystem management (FEM), and in a manner that will not jeopardise the
conservation and long-term sustainability of the species utilised or associated biota.
These harvested species do not include those under legislative protection.

Meaningful research (biological, ecological and population knowledge) on each of the
large number of species involved in this industry would be very expensive and far
outweigh the value of the industry. Logbook records from the industry are closely
monitored for completeness and accuracy by NT Fisheries, thus providing a more
reliable index of any significant changes in catch and catch per effort. If any downward
trends are observed, funding should be sought as a matter of urgency for research to
address these trends.

To date, the NT has not provided any research or development projects in this area
although the environment is very suitable for large-scale propagation of exotic tropical
fish. Due to this suitable environment there is also a significant risk of exotic fish
escaping and becoming established in local waterways if strict quarantine and security
measures are not adopted. Fortunately a number of species that, if they escaped would
become pests in local waters, are banned from the NT by legislation as noxious species.
In view of the potential value of local propagation of valuable exotic species and the
potential risk of some species becoming aquatic pests if they were to escape, there is a
case for the establishment of a program under aquaculture dedicated to this area. In
addition, there is a need to continue providing health and health certification services.

Projects

  Maintain a monitoring regime based on daily logbooks for licensees, providing
  validation of these logbooks where possible, and facilitation of any additional data
  collection and research needed to manage the species involved.


Protection of biodiversity

The level of recreational utilisation of native aquarium fish was not available.

In general, commercial collectors are well equipped and mobile but are limited by
distance, accessibility and season.

Although no Northern Territory native aquarium fish are considered to be in danger of
extinction, endangered, or vulnerable, the Territory Government has adopted a
conservative approach to their management. If utilisation does result in falling population
numbers, research may be needed for management measures such as imposition of
size limits, limiting the amount of effort allowed, closure of certain river systems and
encouragement of captive breeding programs for native freshwater fish.

Serious consideration should be given to the development of procedures and protocols
to prevent the escape of exotic species that would become established in the Territory
aquatic environment as pests (see also Section 11 - Control of Aquatic Pests).


                                               39
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006



Optimum utilisation

Develop a program under aquaculture to assist breeders of ornamental fish, including
risk assessment, health and health certification protocols.


NB. There were no analytical tables available for the 1998 to 2002 period.




                                             40
                                                       UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 9c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE AQUARIUM FISHERY.

                     PLANNED                   SPECIFIC R&D AND                                                                                               FUNDING          DURATION
 WILD HARVEST                                                                                                  2007 PROJECTS
                    OUTCOMES                MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES                                                                                               SOURCES           (YEARS)

                                                                                        - Maintain a monitoring regime based on daily logbooks for
                                                                                          licensees, providing validation of these logbooks where possible,     NT             2006-09
                                                                                          and facilitation of any additional data collection and research
                                        - Harvesting of native fish is carried out in
                                                                                          needed to manage the species involved [H].
                                          accordance with the principles of
                                          ecologically sustainable development
                                                                                        - Develop models to achieve rational harvesting of the resource
                   SUSTAINABLE            (ESD) and fisheries ecosystem
                                                                                          using catch, effort, available biological data, and any other          Y             2 years
                   HARVESTING             management (FEM).
                                                                                          relevant parameters including environmental accreditation under
                                                                                          the EPBC Act [L].
                                        - Environmental accreditation for export
                                          under the EPBC Act obtained.
                                                                                        - Recovery rate of areas where corals were harvested [M].                Y             2-3 years
 AQUARIUM FISH                                                                          - Recovery rate following cyclone damage [M].                            Y             2-3 years
   FISHERY

                                                                                        - Collation of baseline information on bycatch information [M].         NT             2006-09
                                        - A conservative approach to
                 PROTECTION OF
                                          management of the NT Aquarium                 - Development of procedures and protocols to prevent the escape
                  BIODIVERSITY            Fishery adopted.                                of exotic species that would become established in the Territory       Y             Ongoing
                                                                                          aquatic environment as pests [H]


                                        - Assistance to ornamental fish breeders        - Develop a program under NT aquaculture to provide assistance
                     OPTIMUM
                                          provided.                                       to ornamental fish breeders, including risk assessment, health         Y             Ongoing
                    UTILISATION                                                           and health certification protocols [H].




             Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                            NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                            41
                     UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006


6.9 FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES (TABLES 10b AND
   10c)

                           The Northern Territory Fisheries Development Opportunities
STAKEHOLDER                Committee (NTFDOC) was established in 1999 to advise the
UTILISATION FOR            Director and the Minister on the priorities for fisheries
DEVELOPMENT                development opportunities. These include sustainable
FISHERY                    utilisation of aquatic resources within the Northern Territory in
Commercial                 line with environmentally sustainable development (ESD)
                     H
Industry
                           principles. Particular account is taken of commercial fisheries
Recreational
                     L     that are not subject to formal management arrangements (ie,
Fishing
                           developmental fisheries under NT jurisdiction) and of trials
Traditional Usage    L
                           with alternative fishing vessels or fishing gear in fisheries
Environment and
                     L     under formal management arrangements. Development
Consumers
                           Fishery projects are normally funded from external sources,
Key:
H = Highly important
                           usually by the proponents or organisations such as FRDC.
M = Medium importance      Conditions may be placed on the permit or licence for the
L = Low importance         proponents to fund NT Fisheries observers during fishing
NIL = No utilisation       operations.

The committee has the recommended policies for the potential development for certain
fisheries.


NB. There were no analytical tables available for the 1998 to 2002 period.




                                             42
                                                       UPDATED NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN – 2006

TABLE 10c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT
           FISHERY

                        PLANNED            SPECIFIC R&D AND MANAGEMENT                                                                                      FUNDING          DURATION
  WILD HARVEST                                                                                                   2007 PROJECTS
                       OUTCOMES                      OUTCOMES                                                                                               SOURCES           (YEARS)

                                                                                           - Maintain watching brief on the development of the squid and
                                                                                             bait fish fishery under the Development licence [M].                Y           2-3 years
                                          Sustainable utilisation of NT aquatic
                                           resources in line with ESD principles.
                                                                                           Potential projects include:
                                           Particular account taken of developmental
                                           fisheries under NT jurisdiction and of trials
                                                                                           - Capture and/or ranching of tropical rock lobsters [L];              Y           1 year
                                           with fishing vessels or fishing gear in
                     SUSTAINABLE
                                           fisheries under formal management
                     HARVESTING                                                            - Capture of tropical octopus [L];                                    Y           2 years
                                           arrangements.
                                                                                           - Development of sponge culture and harvesting by Indigenous          Y           1 year
                                          Environmental accreditation for export under
                                                                                             communities [M];
                                           the EPBC Act obtained for any fishery with
                                           export potential.
                                                                                           - Deep water long lining for tropical fish, excluding goldband        Y           2 years
  DEVELOPMENT                                                                                snappers [M].
    FISHERIES

                    PROTECTION OF         Environmentally sustainable development                                                                                Y           1-3 years
                                                                                           - See above
                     BIODIVERSITY          (ESD) principles maintained.


                                          Commercial fisheries not subject to formal
                                           management arrangements (ie.
                                           developmental fisheries under NT
                       OPTIMUM
                                           jurisdiction) addressed and trials with         - Continuing review of developmental fisheries policy [M].            Y           1 year
                      UTILISATION          fishing vessels or fishing gear in fisheries
                                           under formal management arrangements
                                           carried out under reviewed policy.




            Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                           NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                            43
                            NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

7 THE AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY

Description

The value of Australian aquaculture reached $732 million in 2003-04 and accounted for
34 per cent of the total gross value of Australian fisheries in that year. In 2004, the total
production from Territory aquaculture was valued at slightly more than $28.8 million; a
7.5 per cent increase on 2003. While steady growth is expected from the pearl sector,
the seafood farming industry is considered to have strong potential for growth and its
value should exceed $120 million during the next five years. This growth will be mainly
from farming of pearls, prawns, barramundi, mud crabs, tropical reef fish and
microalgae.

Farming the Future 2010 is the revised aquaculture development plan for the Northern
Territory 2005-2010. This document was the result of NT Fisheries consultation with
representatives from industry, government and the education sector. The development
objectives relating to Territory aquaculture R&D set out in this new document are to:
   continue to develop and refine the regulatory framework and develop policies that
   facilitate the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector;
   assist industry to develop effective production systems for appropriate tropical
   aquaculture species;
   continue to develop an inventory of suitable coastal areas for aquaculture
   development in the Northern Territory;
   work with the aquaculture industry to ensure high-quality environmental performance;
   operate an aquatic animal health service to help safeguard the health status of the
   Northern Territory aquaculture industry;
   enhance the Northern Territory's reputation as an attractive location for aquaculture
   investment;
   assist the development and implementation of appropriate aquaculture technology for
   Indigenous communities;
   build on the Northern Territory's reputation as a leader in R&D of tropical aquaculture
   to encourage new investment and to maximise the potential of existing industry; and
   promote cooperation between Northern Territory aquaculture facilities to support high-
   quality education and training in tropical aquaculture.

On 27 May 2005 the aquaculture industry and NT Fisheries conducted an Aquaculture
Industry Planning Day. The first part was an industry-only session in which industry
considered the four major aquaculture sector planning tables from the 2004 R&D
Strategic Plan and provided modifications that would address their current needs.
Industry sectors not included in the current R&D plan, for example, trepang and
aquarium fish, were discussed and it was recommended that they be incorporated into
the revised Plan. A report on each of these sectors was produced by the representative
from the NT Seafood Council who also chaired the meeting.

A general government/industry session re-examined the objectives and actions of
Aquaculture Development Plan - Farming the Future – 2010 to tie these in to current and
future projects in the aquaculture business plans. Agreed changes have been
incorporated into the revised Strategic Plan. In addition, industry has committed to
producing development plans for the various sectors including research and extension
priorities.



                                               44
                          NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


The principal R&D outcomes for growth of the NT aquaculture industry are:
- sustainable growth of existing industries; and
- development of new sustainable industries.


Priority outputs by 2011

  Continuing the development of sea cage aquaculture for barramundi and
  development of additional new barramundi farms;
  Culture of high-value reef fish on a pilot scale;
  Larval and nursery culture systems for mud crab available for commercialisation;
  Commercial grow-out technology for mud crabs developed for both near-Darwin and
  remote locations;
  Regular supply of Penaeus monodon broodstock available to NT prawn hatcheries;
  Diagnostic health service for aquaculture and fisheries continued and expanded;
  Establishment of a breeding program to improve growth rates in farmed barramundi;
  Strain identification of the bacterial fish pathogen Streptoccocus iniae and
  development of an effective polyvalent vaccine for Australian barramundi;
  Development of a system for nodavirus detection and control in barramundi
  hatcheries; and
  Feasibility studies completed on trepang aquaculture.

In addition, there is a need to take account of the genetic and ecological effects that
aquaculture-bred fish may have on wild populations if they escape from farms.




                                            45
                           NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

7.1 MOLLUSC AQUACULTURE (TABLES 11a, 11b AND 11c)
Although the 2001 industry workshop on aquaculture only identified pearl shell health
and disease management as important R&D issues, Territory pearl farmers considered
that the remaining R&D projects in pearl culture were their responsibility.

NT Fisheries is aware of industry continuing to examine the potential for edible oysters,
mud mussels and giant clams, but scarce resources do not permit research in these
areas.




                                             46
                                                               NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 11c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR MOLLUSC AQUACULTURE

                        PLANNED                  SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                  FUNDING                DURATION
 AQUACULTURE                                                                                      2007 PROJECTS
                       OUTCOMES                   OUTCOMES                                                                                     SOURCES                 (YEARS)

                      SUSTAINABLE
                                            Health service provided for
                       GROWTH OF                                          - Continue monitoring of pearl oyster health and investigation of
                                             the pearl oyster culture                                                                             NT/IND           2007-2011
                         EXISTING                                           pearl oyster diseases [H].
                                             industry.
                       INDUSTRIES
   MOLLUSC
 AQUACULTURE
                   DEVELOPMENT OF           R&D outcomes planned for      Desk top study of the feasibility of culturing edible oysters [L].
                   NEW SUSTAINABLE           new industries in mollusc                                                                               Y             2007
                     INDUSTRIES              aquaculture.                 Investigation of the feasibility of culturing mud mussels [L]
                                                                                                                                                     Y             2007-2010




       Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                      NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                         47
                           NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


7.2 FINFISH AQUACULTURE (TABLES 12a, 12b and 12c)
The fish aquaculture research needs identified by the 2001 industry workshop referred
mainly to barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and included pond management, coordination of
research applications, a national genetic improvement program and improvement of
farming systems. It also identified the need for support and enhancement of pathology
services.

Commercial finfish aquaculture in the NT is based solely on barramundi, using pond and
sea cage culture. This industry is expanding with sea cage aquaculture with the potential
to develop into a major industry but is constrained by available cage sites. Industry has
identified disease control, feed development, breeding stock improvement and pond
management as key areas for R&D.

The NT has previously developed a technique for the reliable production of difficult-to-
rear reef fish such as lutjanid snappers and groupers. Further application of this
technique is on hold pending interest and investment from the private sector.

DPIFM has made a strategic alliance with the Gondol Research Institute for Mariculture
in Bali. Areas of proposed collaboration include:
 - developing production systems for high value finfish;
 - fish pathology;
 - the use of copepods as live feed, and
 - the environmental impacts of fish aquaculture.

Sea cage culture
It has been shown that barramundi can be grown to 3 kg in less than 21 months using
sea-cage methodology. It has also been shown that finfish farming on the NT coast is
achievable with current technology. New technology to further deal with strong currents
and high ambient and water temperatures found in NT waters is evolving.

The following R&D constraints have been identified by industry and require
consideration:

Development
  Designing sea cages for sustainable production of tropical finfish to use in the strong
  currents, high temperatures and rapid corrosion found in the NT;
  The environmental impacts of tropical sea cage farming; and
  Development of processing/value adding facilities in Darwin including more reliable
  freight services.

Research
The viability of local tropical reef species as aquaculture species needs to be further
investigated. Their market potential should be assessed as a precursor to any further
research.




                                             48
                                                                    NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 12c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR FINFISH AQUACULTURE.

                                              SPECIFIC R&D AND
                        PLANNED                                                                                                                     FUNDING              DURATION
AQUACULTURE                                     MANAGEMENT                                            2007 PROJECTS
                       OUTCOMES                                                                                                                     SOURCES               (YEARS)
                                                 OUTCOMES

                                                                              - Production of barramundi larvae and fingerlings for sale by NT         NT/IND        2007-2011
                                           Operation of a NT                    Government hatchery [H].
                                            Government semi-
                                            commercial hatchery to            - Liaison and promotion of the effects of tropical cage farming.        NT/ EXT        2007-09
                                            support and encourage               Support AIMS in research. [H].
                                            barramundi grow-out
                     SUSTAINABLE            industry.                         - Development of an improved system to control and monitor               NT/EXT        2007
                      GROWTH OF                                                 nodavirus in barramundi [H].
                        EXISTING           Materials for dissemination
                      INDUSTRIES            and supporting research.          - Development of an effective vaccine to control streptococcus on          NT          2007-08
   FINFISH                                                                      barramundi farms (H).
AQUACULTURE                                Improved nodavirus detection
                                             and management in                - Create or facilitate the creation of a barramundi stud from local      NT/IND        2007-2011
                                             broodstock.                        broodstock (M).

                                           Barramundi stud operational.

                    DEVELOPMENT
                       OF NEW              Provision of juvenile finfish to   - Investigate aquaculture potential for tropical reef species [M].        Y/IND        2007-2010
                    SUSTAINABLE              industry for trial purposes.       eg. grouper spp.
                     INDUSTRIES




    Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                           NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                               49
                             NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


7.3 CRUSTACEAN AQUACULTURE (TABLES 13a, 13b AND 13c)
Farming the Future 2010, released in 2004, identified prawn aquaculture as an industry
“on the rise”. However, since then, large volumes of imported Penaeus vannamei
prawns have forced market prices down, reducing the economic return from NT prawn
aquaculture production. As a result, several prawn farmers have now diversified into
barramundi farming.

Mud crab aquaculture is commencing commercialisation with Indigenous industry
partners growing out crablets produced by Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC). A local
business entity is investigating potential sites to establish a mud crab farm.

In 2005 about 43 ha of prawn ponds were in production. Indigenous groups were
interested in aquaculture production, and many coastal communities are now showing
interest. The initial strategy is to build the industry and its infrastructure support base in
the Darwin area around viable and sustainable aquaculture farms. Such localised initial
development close to Darwin will allow for training and later industry expansion to more
remote areas of the NT. Growth of the industry results in employment opportunities for
skilled as well as unskilled workers, and for full-time and part-time job seekers. For
example, every 100 tonnes of prawns produced provides full-time employment for at
least six people, as well as part-time work for up to 10 others in harvesting, processing
and packing.

R&D priorities for the prawn farming sector must recognise that prawn farming is a
relatively high-risk business enterprise. To this end, the priority is to mitigate risk while at
the same time assisting the growth of the industry.

R&D priorities for NT prawn farming are to:
  ensure regular supply of disease-free Penaeus monodon broodstock, both caught at
  sea and raised from pond-reared prawns;
  initiate broodstock selection from pond-grown animals to produce superior prawn
  strains; and
  maintain up-to-date information databases on all aspects of prawn farming including
  diseases and communicate this information to the NT industry.

R&D priorities for prawn research need to be considered from a national, as well as a
local perspective, so that local farmers can derive benefit from work being undertaken
on behalf of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association.

Waters adjacent to the NT may be a source of reliable and continuous supply of P.
monodon broodstock now that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)
has increased access to local black tiger prawn broodstock. Also, local prawn farmers
are now producing nauplii and post larvae to supply NT farms.

Research on producing a closed life cycle for P. monodon in ponds is being carried out
by CSIRO, AIMS and Queensland DPI. The NT supports this research.

The DAC has completed a joint research project with Queensland DPI commercialising
larval and juvenile production of mud crabs (Scylla serrata) with funding by the FRDC.
The refinement of this technology and the further production of mud crabs will depend


                                                50
                           NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

on the commercial viability of raising mud crabs to a marketable size and industry
development needs. Support for Indigenous groups interested in becoming involved in
mud crab aquaculture will also be a consideration.

Assessment of the business and economic viability of mud crab aquaculture in the NT,
using the information provided by the current project, is under way. Any further mud crab
aquaculture work would need to address strategic and business issues that have been
identified.

The 2001 NT Aquaculture Industry Workshop identified R&D priorities for redclaw
aquaculture. This included access to selectively bred stock from Queensland,
assessment of Territory versus Queensland stock and case management style
extension services. A pilot farm to industry best practice standards has been developed
at Bachelor and will enable economic assessment of the redclaw industry under
Territory conditions.




                                             51
                                                               NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 13c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR CRUSTACEAN
          AQUACULTURE


                                               SPECIFIC R&D AND
                         PLANNED                                                                                                               FUNDING               DURATION
 AQUACULTURE                                     MANAGEMENT                                      2007 PROJECTS
                        OUTCOMES                                                                                                               SOURCES                (YEARS)
                                                  OUTCOMES


                                                                           - Provide industry with assistance to ensure a reliable supply of    EXT/IND           2007 onwards
                       SUSTAINABLE          Assistance provided to local
                                                                             local Penaeus monodon broodstock and support industry to
                                             industry to develop and
                        GROWTH OF                                            produce an adequate supply of prawn post-larvae [H].
                                             maintain a viable and
                          EXISTING           sustainable prawn
                        INDUSTRIES           aquaculture industry.
                                                                           - Keep collection of information on cultured prawn diseases and         NT             2007-2010
  CRUSTACEAN                                                                 parasites current [M].
 AQUACULTURE

                                                                           - Work with Indigenous communities to develop an appropriate
                      DEVELOPMENT                                            technology package for a mud crab production system and               NT             2007-08
                                            A technology package for a
                         OF NEW                                              undertake growout trials [H].
                                              mud crab production system
                      SUSTAINABLE             produced for transfer to
                       INDUSTRIES                                          - Pursue research opportunities for mud crab diet development         NT/EXT           2007-09
                                              industry.
                                                                             [M]




       Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                     NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                       52
                            NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


7.4 AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY SUPPORT (TABLES 14a, 14b AND 14c)
The need for a specialist aquaculture health and pathology service has been identified
as a priority for sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry for a number of years. It is
estimated that 20-30 per cent of veterinary laboratory work at DPIFM is aquaculture-
related. Due to the specialised nature of aquaculture-related pathology and the lack of
aquaculture-trained veterinarians in Australia, it will be necessary to employ an
additional veterinarian to train under the current specialist to assure continuity of the
service. This would include formal training in bacteriology, virology and pathology, and a
work placement with the aquatic animal health specialist.

In the 2005 workshop on aquaculture industry priorities, a reduction in regulation and
reporting, as well as the development of supporting policies, and greater levels of
extension, were seen as priorities. To this end, an aquaculture development officer was
employed to develop a policy framework and strategic and operational policies. In
addition, the DAC began developing a simplified licensing process and case-managing
new proponents. On-farm extension services have also been expanded.

To assist the promotion of aquaculture in the Northern Territory, identification of suitable
aquaculture sites around the Territory coast is continuing. This work has clear goals to
assist in identifying opportunities for Indigenous and mainstream aquaculture activities.




                                               53
                                                         UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 64c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY
           SUPPORT

                       PLANNED                                                                                                                     FUNDING             DURATION
 AQUACULTURE                                 SPECIFIC R&D OUTCOMES                                      2006 PROJECTS
                      OUTCOMES                                                                                                                     SOURCES              (YEARS)

                    SUSTAINABLE          A specialist aquaculture pathology service
                                           provided to the aquaculture industry.
                     GROWTH OF                                                        - Employment of an additional veterinarian to be trained
                                                                                                                                                       NT           2007 onwards
                       EXISTING                                                         in aquaculture pathology [H] (even extremely high!).
                                         A general advisory service to industry is
                     INDUSTRIES            also provided.


                                         Production of regional aquaculture plans
                                           to ensure that adequate areas suitable     - Maintain and expand an inventory of suitable                   NT           2007-08
  AQUACULTURE                              for aquaculture are set aside in an          aquaculture sites in the NT and liaise with proponents
INDUSTRY SUPPORT                           integrated coastal management system         and government to gain access. [H].
                   DEVELOPMENT             for the NT.
                      OF NEW
                                         Facilitation of aquaculture projects that    - Continued development of an aquaculture extension              NT           2007-09
                   SUSTAINABLE            have Indigenous involvement or                service including the provision of advice for Indigenous
                    INDUSTRIES            interest.                                     communities (see also Section 12) [H].

                                         Support for new industry sectors with
                                          demonstrated economic potential (eg         - Development and refinement of cost-benefit models              NT           2007
                                          aquarium fish species)                        for the significant aquaculture sectors [L].




               Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                         NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                        54
                        UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

8 RECREATIONAL FISHING (TABLES 15a, 15b AND 15c)

Description

Recreational fishing has long been an important part of the Northern Territory’s social
fabric and continues to develop into a thriving pastime and industry with a high local
participation rate and a growing tourism element. This attraction is also complemented
by enjoyment of pristine wilderness areas and its wildlife.

The Northern Territory component of the 2000 National Recreational and Indigenous
Fishing Survey was undertaken by the NT Fisheries of the Department of Business,
Industry and Resource Development (DBIRD) between May 2000 and April 2001. The
full report of this survey has been published and is available for purchase. It was
planned to repeat this survey in 2005, but this did not occur.

The population of the Top End is predicted to increase significantly during the next few
decades. Despite a previous population increase, the 1996 FISHCOUNT survey and
the 2000 NRIFS did not identify a significant rise in recreational fishing effort. The slight
increase in catch levels reported suggests that recreational fishers are able to target
species more efficiently. These trends require more analysis to determine the necessity
of tighter controls on recreational fishers and/or measures to spread the effort into new
areas. The NT has provided significant investment - $3.5 million - in new recreational
fishing infrastructure since 2002.

A key factor in the management of recreational fishing effort in the Territory is the need
to assess the status and exploitation levels of the various aquatic species involved. To
this end, the collection and inclusion of recreational catch and effort data in the
assessments of coastal fish, barramundi and mud crab stocks is a high priority.

The role of R&D in the development and management of recreational fishing is
addressed in consultation with stakeholders. This occurs principally through the Amateur
Fishermen's Association of the NT (AFANT) and various fishery management advisory
committees (FMACs) which comprise a cross-section of representative stakeholders.


Priority outputs by 2011

The principal outputs identified for recreational fishing R&D include:
  conducting a recreational fishing survey and evaluation of exploitation levels of fish
  stocks and other factors important to recreational fishing;
  analysis of secondary data relating to recreational fishing, eg Tourist NT visitor
  statistics and boat trailer registrations;
  implementation of an angler logbook program to identify areas of high fishing activity;
  identifying changes to catch and release techniques through AFANT and other
  recreational fishing organisation members;
  increased emphasis on coastal fisheries research (see Coastal Line Fishery sub-
  program);
  promotion of FRDC projects for recreational fishing.




                                               55
                                                          UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 15c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR RECREATIONAL FISHING

                                              SPECIFIC R&D AND
 RECREATIONAL          PLANNED                                                                                                                          FUNDING         DURATION
                                                MANAGEMENT                                             2007 PROJECTS
    FISHING           OUTCOMES                                                                                                                          SOURCES          (YEARS)
                                                 OUTCOMES


                                          Contribution to the biology and     - Evaluation of exploitation levels of fish stocks and other factors
                                           resource assessment of the           important to recreational fishing for species such as barramundi,         Y/NT        2007-2011
                                           species involved (partly             Spanish mackerel and mud crabs [H].
                                           covered by the sub-programs
                     SUSTAINABLE
                                           on other fisheries and             - Assist assessment of fish stocks through the AFANT logbook              NT/AFANT      2007-2011
                     HARVESTING            species).                            projects and monitoring of fishing competitions [M];

                                          Recreational and Indigenous         - Conduct recreational fishing survey based on 2000 NRIFS                   Y/NT        2007-09
                                           Fishing Survey for the NT.           technology [H].


 RECREATIONAL
    FISHING                               Quantification of target and
 RESEARCH AND                              associated recreational
 DEVELOPMENT        PROTECTION OF          species in specific areas to       - Identification of released catch data collected during the NT part of                 2007
                                                                                                                                                           Y
                     BIODIVERSITY          ensure that aquatic                  the 2000 National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey
                                           biodiversity of the NT is not        [M].
                                           endangered.


                                          Catch of recreationally important
                                           species is distributed between
                                           the commercial, Indigenous         - Promote adoption of changes to catch and release techniques                Y          2007-08
                       OPTIMUM
                                           and recreational sectors to          through AFANT and other recreational fishing organisations [M].
                      UTILISATION          provide the optimum economic
                                           and social benefits to the NT
                                           community.



       Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                         NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                          56
                      UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

9 ENVIRONMENT, HABITAT AND CONSERVATION OF AQUATIC
  BIODIVERSITY (TABLES 16a, 16b and 16c)

                          The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments now
STAKEHOLDER               recognise biodiversity conservation as part of the wider issue
UTILISATION FOR           of ecosystem management. The Environment Protection and
ENVIRONMENT,              Biodiversity Conservation Act required that, before the end of
HABITAT AND               2003, all aquatic species to be exported must be cleared for
CONSERVATION OF
                          compliance with the ESD objectives set out under that
AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY
                          legislation. NT Fisheries contributes to the protection of the
Commercial
Industry
                     H    Territory's aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity by providing
Recreational
                          R&D advice on aquatic population and environment. This
                     H    advice is often in collaboration with other government
Fishing
Traditional Usage    H    agencies such as the Parks and Wildlife Commission, the NT
Environment and
                          Museum and Art Gallery, Power Water and the Department
                     H    of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts (NRETA).
Consumers
Key:
H = Highly important        NT Fisheries contributes through:
M = Medium importance          ensuring that species to be exported comply with ESD
L = Low importance             principles and have obtained export accreditation;
NIL = No utilisation           assessment of proposals for developments and
                               modifications to the aquatic environment;
  declaration of marine parks and refugia and assessment of their potential impact on
  fisheries stakeholders;
  identifying threats to biodiversity from over-utilisation of aquatic resources and
  implementation of management measures to alleviate them;
  minimising threats represented by commercial and recreational fishing to biodiversity
  by the introduction / translocation of exotic species;
  minimising the opportunity for the introduction of exotic marine species through
  inspection of internationally travelled vessels and maintenance of an early-warning
  monitoring program; and
  providing an emergency response capability to the detection of exotic freshwater,
  estuarine and marine species.

Research advice on potential threats to ecosystems and biodiversity must be formulated
in collaboration with industry, planning and development agencies, and environmental
protection agencies. NT Fisheries will remain in the forefront of providing biological
advice on the environmental and habitat impact of fisheries and port development
proposals. It will also monitor coastal activities such as fish farming and residential
developments.


Planned outputs by 2011

The principal outputs for fishery-related R&D on the protection of ecosystems and
biodiversity include:
   ensuring NT harvested species comply with ESD requirements prior to export;
   the provision of risk-based assessments of the probable impacts and/or benefits of
   proposed marine protected areas; and
   ensuring that major client groups are aware of and accept environmental and
   biodiversity issues.

                                            57
                       UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


Export of the Territory's aquatic species could be disrupted if ESD compliance is not
obtained from the Department of Environment and Heritage. If advice on threats to
biodiversity by development proposals is not provided, or if this advice is not heeded,
there is a strong possibility of biodiversity decline, reduced environmental quality and
damaged fish habitat. The consequences will be loss of fish production, possibly with
substantial economic and social impacts.

The NT Environmental Protection Act provides for the assessment of the environmental
effects of development proposals and for the protection of the environment; it planned to
meet the NT Government target under this act for ecologically sustainable use and
protection of resources by 2008.




                                             58
                                                         UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE16c. 2007 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HABITAT OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION

                      PLANNED                SPECIFIC R&D AND                                                                                           FUNDING           DURATION
 ENVIRONMENT                                                                                              2007 PROJECTS
                     OUTCOMES             MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES                                                                                           SOURCES            (YEARS)
 AND HABITAT

                                                                                  - Assessment of NT harvested export species not already                  NT         2007
                                                                                    covered for compliance under the EPBC Act (see individual
                                         Threats to stocks of utilised fish and     fisheries) [H].
                  CONSERVATION            aquatic life assessed.
                    OF AQUATIC                                                    - Risk assessment studies on the probable impacts and/or                 Y          2 years
                   BIODIVERSITY          Bycatch from commercial fishing            benefits of proposed fisheries protected areas (MPAs) [M].
                                          operations minimised.
                                                                                  - Projects also included in control of aquatic pests and individual     NT, Y       4 years
                                                                                    fishery and activity groups [M – H].


 HABITAT AND                                                                      - Finalise project to examine role of mangroves in the trophic         NT, EXT      2007
 ENVIRONMENT                                                                        relationships of species that depend on them, and the effect of
                                                                                    mangroves on the survival of these species [H].

                                                                                  - Use trophic models to summarise food webs and ecosystem              NT, EXT      2007
                  PROTECTION OF          Status of habitats in NT controlled
                                                                                    relationships within the mangrove community [M].
                                           waters assessed and any
                     AQUATIC               necessary protection
                    HABITATS                                                      - Planning of marine parks to develop and manage the fisheries           NT         2007-2011
                                           implemented.
                                                                                    component of marine parks in the Northern Territory in line with
                                                                                    the accepted guidelines [M]; and

                                                                                  - Contribute to the planning and management of the Northern              NT         2007-2011
                                                                                    Territory aquatic reserves [M].




          Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                          NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                          59
                       UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

10 CONTROL OF AQUATIC PESTS (TABLES 17b AND 17c)

Description

The Aquatic Pest Management (APM) unit was officially established in 1999 to
contribute to the effective management of fisheries resources by facilitating the
protection of aquatic ecosystem habitats and biodiversity.

The role of the unit may be summarised as:
- Prevention;
- Monitoring;
- Community awareness; and
- Emergency response capability.

The APM unit achieves this by presenting a coordinated unit which:
  participates in various national forums charged with the development of a nationally
  consistent strategy designed to minimise the opportunity for aquatic pests (marine
  and freshwater) to enter the Australian aquatic environment;
  continues to coordinate the inspection and precautionary treatment of high-risk
  vessels for aquatic pests in the absence of national regimes;
  monitors high-risk aquatic areas to detect any possible further introduction of aquatic
  pests to the Northern Territory;
  provides a contact point for reporting potential aquatic pest species observed in the
  local environment; and
  continues to maintain public awareness regarding the sources and impacts of aquatic
  pest species on the environment and economy, and how best to prevent the
  introduction of aquatic pests.

An extensive monitoring program commenced in May 1999 as a sentinel for introduced
marine pest species and to document the recovery of Darwin's marinas following
chemical treatment for black-striped mussel. For 12 months from December that year,
nutrient level monitoring was conducted to measure phosphorous, nitrogen and algae
levels. The information was compiled in a report, Integrated monitoring of water quality
and biodiversity in Darwin Harbour and its marinas, to the Coast and Clean Seas
program. An underwater photographic and visual fouling community survey was also
introduced.

The monitoring program of marine fouling communities to detect the presence of marine
pest species using artificial settlement surfaces has been progressively expanded by the
APM unit. Settlement traps are deployed within Gove Harbour, pearl farms in
collaboration with Paspaley Pearls, Bynoe Harbour, Raffles Bay, Milner Bay and Garden
Point, Melville Island. The regular sampling of these traps has confirmed the absence of
marine pests from the fouling communities and provided information on the natural
species composition of the assemblages developing in each location. The results of the
monitoring program are being published as a series and may be found on the Fisheries
APM unit website.

A program for inspecting fouling on vessels entering Darwin marinas from overseas was
also initiated in May 1999. At least three non-endemic species of bivalve of concern as a
potential marine pest - the Asian green mussel (Perna viridis), the black-striped mussel
(Mytilopsis sallei) and the Asian bag mussel (Musculista senhousia) - have been


                                             60
                      UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

intercepted, as have a number of bryozoans of uncertain pest status. Vessels with
extensive bryozoan fouling were quarantined based on a precautionary approach to risk
management.

The fouling fauna associated with apprehended foreign fishing and refugee vessels have
also been monitored since September 2000.

During July 2006, marine pests were discovered on the hulls of three Type III Iceboats
following their arrival in the Port of Darwin. Inspection protocols were again reviewed.
High-risk Type III Iceboats are inspected outside port limits and must be cleared of
marine pests before being permitted entry. Low-risk vessels are inspected on a random
basis after their entry to the port.

At a national level, tabling of the joint report by the Standing Committee on
Conservation, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and the Aquaculture National
Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions, resulted in the
establishment of the National Introduced Marine Pests Coordination Group (NIMPCG).
This group is responsible for the development and implementation of the National
System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions. The National
System encompasses three components:
  A prevention element to help reduce the risk of introductions of marine pests of
  concern;
  An emergency management element to prepare for any new introductions of marine
  pests and, where possible, mount an eradication response; and
  An ongoing management and control element to manage marine pests should they
  become established.

The AMP unit is involved in all aspects and is a member of the national Consultative
Committee on Introduced Marine Pest Emergencies (CCIMPE) which provides expert
advice to the jurisdiction combating a marine pest incursion.

The APM unit has been active in the eradication of feral freshwater fish populations,
which have most likely developed from aquarium releases or the overflow of backyard
ponds.


Planned outputs by 2011

The primary outputs from Aquatic Pest Management include:
  inventory of native fouling species in Darwin and Gove Harbours and the Groote
  Eylandt area;
  removal of exotic species populations;
  inventory of the high-risk vectors for introducing and translocating exotic species;
  risk-based management of vectors to minimise the opportunity for introduction or
  translocation of exotic species;
  liaison with the aquarium and garden supply industry to promote the value of native
  freshwater fish species as alternative aquarium species and effective mosquito
  control options; and
  maintenance of client and stakeholder group awareness regarding the undesirable
  impacts associated with reduced biodiversity as a consequence of the introduction of
  exotic species.


                                            61
                                                            UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 17c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR THE CONTROL OF
          AQUATIC PESTS

                       PLANNED              SPECIFIC MANAGEMENT                                                                                      FUNDING       DURATION
 AQUATIC PESTS                                                                                         2007 PROJECTS
                      OUTCOMES               AND R&D OUTCOMES                                                                                        SOURCES        (YEARS)

                                                                                 - Inventory of native fouling species in Darwin and Gove              NT       2007-2011
                                                                                    Harbours and the Groote Eylandt area [M].

                                                                                 - Inventory on the high risk vectors introducing and                  NT       2007-2011
                                                                                   translocating exotic species [H].

                                                                                 - Risk-based management of vectors to minimise the                    NT       2007-2011
                                         Risk of harm to aquatic related and       opportunity for introduction or translocation of exotic species
                       FISHERY             fishery resources of the NT             [M].
                      RESOURCE             minimised, including destruction of
                     PROTECTION            any infestations.                     - Liaison with aquarium and garden supply industry to                 NT       2007-2011
  CONTROL OF                                                                       promote the value of native freshwater fish species as an
 AQUATIC PESTS                                                                     alternative aquarium species and effective mosquito control
                                                                                   options [M].

                                                                                 - Maintenance of client and stakeholder group awareness               NT       2007-2011
                                                                                   regarding the undesirable impacts associated with reduced
                                                                                   biodiversity as a consequence of the introduction of exotic
                                                                                   species [M].


                      AQUATIC            Establishment of aquatic pest
                                                                                 - Monitoring and destruction of any exotic and/or pest aquatic
                                          species in Northern Territory                                                                                NT       2007-2011
                    ENVIRONMENT           waters prevented.
                                                                                   species in NT waters [M].
                     PROTECTION




          Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                        NT = NT Funded; EXT = Externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                           62
                        UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006


11 DEVELOPMENT OF FURTHER PARTICIPATION BY INDIGENOUS
   PEOPLE IN REGIONAL AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES IN THE
   COMMERCIAL SEAFOOD INDUSTRY (TABLES 18b AND 18c)

Description

As 84 per cent of the NT coastline is Indigenous land, there is potential for Indigenous
people to become active participants in the seafood industry. There have been various
attempts to develop fishing ventures with coastal Indigenous communities since the mid-
1960s and, until now, none have resulted in a viable or sustained long-term venture.
These failures may well be the result of projects that are culturally, socially,
technologically, economically and geographically inappropriate. Other reasons may be a
perceived lack of ownership by the communities or individuals involved. Notwithstanding
this, there are strong indications that fishing and aquaculture ventures on or adjacent to
Indigenous land, and conforming to Indigenous culture, are gaining interest in the
communities. Many residents in remote Indigenous communities have few employment
opportunities but are becoming better informed regarding options available to them in
the seafood industry, particularly with respect to new and emerging industries. Remote
non-Indigenous communities would also benefit from appropriate local fisheries
development projects.

Recent analysis of the criteria for successful Indigenous projects has shown a need to
formulate detailed development plans. An important first step in this planning is to build
the community’s strategic planning capacity and competence. Training for strategic
capacity building can be provided through various NT government departments and the
Charles Darwin University (CDU). The first stage in formulating fishery development
plans is for the communities involved to identify fisheries or fishery-related projects that
are attractive to them and their leaders as well as showing a good chance of success.
This provides an opportunity for the project to be community-driven, increasing
community interest and commitment. Once this has been achieved and the plans
prepared, funding can be sought for the implementation of the project. Such projects
may be solely based in the community and in partnership with other communities or
commercial operators.

Several projects have already commenced, including a sponge farming project in
Arnhem Land, mud crab growout sites in Maningrida and Kulaluk and the barramundi
sea cage project at Port Hurd on Bathurst Island. Other projects may include mullet and
milk fish fishing in Elcho Island waters, painted crayfish, trepang and mud crab
aquaculture and possibly fishing tours for tourists. There is also potential for Indigenous
participation in coastal line fishing around the Wessel Islands and Nhulunbuy region with
a number of groups and individuals expressing an interest in this industry. In addition,
there has been a request from Indigenous communities in the Alice Springs region to
investigate possible aquaculture ventures.

There is an ongoing consultative process between NT Fisheries, the Police Marine and
Fisheries Enforcement Section and, where and when appropriate, the NT Seafood
Council (NTSC), AFANT and CDU with Indigenous representatives and groups that
assists in the development of a larger Indigenous involvement in the seafood industry.
These committees provide the foundations for a range of projects by promoting new


                                              63
                       UPDATED FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

industries and technologies that may be more appropriate as viable businesses in
remote Indigenous communities.


Priority outputs by 2011

The 2011 NT Fisheries R&D Plan will target outcomes for increased Indigenous
involvement by fostering the establishment of one major project and two minor projects.
These projects can be either in partnership with other fishing operators, established by
the community alone, or a combination of both. However, the provision of strategic
capacity building will remain an important initial step. These outcomes include:
   arrange targeted strategic capacity building training for communities identified as both
   wanting and needing the training;
   establishment of a viable sponge farming venture in Arnhem Land communities;
   establishment of inshore fishing ventures off Arnhem Land for species such as mullet,
   milk fish and garfish;
   establishment of recreational fishing tours and access to fishing areas not available to
   other fishing tour operators; and
   establishment of mud crab farms in the Kulaluk, Maningrida and Howard Island
   communities.




                                              64
                                                       UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 18c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT
           IN REMOTE AREAS

  INDIGENOUS             PLANNED                                                                                                                 FUNDING      DURATION
                                             SPECIFIC R&D OUTCOMES                                2007 PROJECTS
   FISHERIES            OUTCOMES                                                                                                                 SOURCES       (YEARS)

                                                                            - Establishment of a viable sponge farming venture in Arnhem          EXT, Y   2007-09
                     DEVELOPMENT                                              Land communities [H].
                    OF SUSTAINABLE
 DEVELOPMENT          INDIGENOUS                                            - Establishment of inshore netting ventures off Arnhem Land             Y      2-5 years
                                            Development of a viable           for species such as mullet, milk fish and garfish [M].
 OF FISHERIES IN     COMMERCIAL
                                             Indigenous seafood industry.
    REMOTE                AND                                               - Establishment of recreational fishing tours and access to             Y      2-3 years
  COMMUNITIES        SUBSISTENCE                                              fishing areas not available to other fishing tour operators [M].
                        FISHING
                     ENTERPRISES                                            - Establishment of mud crab farms at Kulaluk, Maningrida and           NT      2-3 years
                                                                              Howard Island communities [H].




           Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                  NT = NT Funded; EXT = externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                       65
                    UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

12 FISHING TOUR OPERATORS (Table 19c)

Description

NT Fisheries has issued licences to Fishing Tour Operators (FTOs) since 1994. These
licences are free, but the holder is required to provide daily activity log returns on a
monthly basis. These returns record the number of line hours spent fishing in one or
more of five types of targeted activities. In 1995, 137 licences were issued, of which 71
were used. Ten years later, in 2005, 160 licences were issued of which 117 were active.
The log return requirement has generated a significant data set.

FTOs operate throughout the Top End of the Territory but primarily work waters around
Darwin. A number of operators are allowed to operate under a dual licence for specific
areas of Kakadu National Park. Barramundi operators prefer the big inland tidal rivers
such as the Mary, Daly and South Alligator. Offshore operators are most active in the
waters adjacent to Darwin, Nhulunbuy and Borroloola.

FTOs and their clients may only use recreational fishing methods and gear. They must
observe size and possession limit controls that apply to all recreational fishers and may
not sell or barter their catch. They are deemed as commercial operators but not
commercial fishers.

Most FTOs target barramundi on inland and coastal waters, although several operate
offshore from boats that range in size up to luxurious “mother ships”. There are also
fishing camps and lodges, bus tour and helicopter fishing tour operations. Some FTOs
operate full-time and most are active during peak periods before and after the wet
season.

The annual number of fish caught and released by FTO clients has increased from
about 63,000 in 1995 to about 202,000 in 2005. About 50 per cent of this catch was
barramundi with more than 85 per cent being released after capture. The line hours
fished by FTOs has also continued to increase each year with more than 176,000 hours
fished in 2005.

The log returns submitted by FTOs during 2005 revealed a total of 27,259 clients. Most
came from New South Wales (6976) and the Northern Territory (5530). The remainder
originated from Victoria (6092), Queensland (3003), South Australia (1811), overseas
(1074), Western Australia (1018) and Tasmania (469).




                                             66
                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

Sustainable harvesting

As catches and fishing effort data from Fishing Tour Operators are significant it is
essential that they are included in analyses of all fisheries. To simplify submission and
compilation of FTO catch and effort returns a computerised database is currently under
consideration.

Projects

  Continue collection and analysis of FTO log book catch and effort data;
  Implement a computerised database for the submission and compilation of FTO
  logbook data;
  Coordinate the creation of area grid groupings for more accurate interpretation of
  specific areas fished within more popular fishing regions;
  Ensure inclusion of FTO catch and effort data in the evaluation of important fish
  stocks, such as barramundi, mud crab, Spanish mackerel and coastal line;
  Evaluation of the Northern Territory guided fishing industry’s economic (and, if
  possible, social) value; and
  Identify improved fish release techniques and gear.


Protection of biodiversity

Ensure that FTO operations do not endanger NT aquatic biodiversity.

Project

Identify survival rates of significant species post-release.


Optimum utilisation

Assist in the sustainable development of the guided fishing tourism industry.

Project

No projects at this time




                                               67
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 19c. 2007 R&D OUTCOMES, PROJECTS, THEIR FUNDING SOURCES AND DURATION FOR FISHING TOUR
          OPERATORS

 FISHING TOUR         PLANNED                                                                                                                 FUNDING           DURATION
                                          SPECIFIC R&D OUTCOMES                                    2007 PROJECTS
  OPERATORS          OUTCOMES                                                                                                                 SOURCES            (YEARS)

                                                                             - Continue collection and analysis of FTO log book catch and         NT          2007-2011
                                                                               effort data [H].

                                                                             - Implement a computerised database for the submission and           NT          2-5 years
                                                                                compilation of FTO logbook data [M].

                   SUSTAINABLE          Development of sustainable Fishing   - Coordination of area grid grouping [M].                            NT          2-3 years
                   HARVESTING            Tour Operator industry.
                                                                             - Ensure inclusion of FTO catch and effort data in the
                                                                               evaluation of important fish stocks, such as barramundi, mud        Y          2-3 years
                                                                               crab, Spanish mackerel and coastal line [H].

                                                                             - Coordination of the development of the next Northern                Y          2-5 years
                                                                               Territory Recreational Fishing Survey [H].
 FISHING TOUR
  OPERATORS
                                        Quantification of target and
                                         associated recreational and
                  PROTECTION OF          commercial species in specific      - Identify survival rates of significant species post-release         Y          2-5 years
                   BIODIVERSITY          areas to ensure that aquatic
                                         biodiversity of the NT is not
                                         endangered.



                                        Fishing tour operator (FTOs)
                                          ventures providing world class     - No projects at this time.
                     OPTIMUM
                                          service to visiting and local
                    UTILISATION           recreational fishers.




         Project Priority: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low                     NT = NT Funded; EXT = externally funded; Y = Yet to be funded; IND = Industry funded




                                                                                        68
                    UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

13 REFERENCES
Coleman A. P. M. (1998). Fishcount. A survey of recreational fishing in the Northern
        Territory. Summary. Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and
        Fisheries. Fishery Report 41.
Haddon, M., Frusher,S., Hay, T., Hearnden, M., Gribble, N., and Brown, I. (2004). Mud
        Crab Assessment Workshop. Northern Territory Department of Business,
        Industry and Resource Development. Fishery Report 79.
Henry, G. W. and Lyle, J. M.(Eds.) (2003). The National Recreational and Indigenous
          Fishing Survey. FRDC Project 99/158. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series.
Knuckey, Ian A. (1998). Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) Population Dynamics in the Northern
          Territory, Australia and their Relationship to the Commercial Fisher: PhD
          Thesis, (Northern Territory University).
Knuckey, Ian A. (2005). Report commissioned by the NT Seafood Council.
Walters, C., Buckworth, R., Calogeras, C., Hay, T., Knuckery, Ian A., and Ramm, D.
          (1996).”Status and future development potential of the Mud Crab fishery.
          Towards the sustainable use of the Northern Territory fishery resources.”
          Review workshops lead by Dr Carl Walters. Final report to the Fisheries
          Research and Development Corporation on Project 96/158, D. C. Ram med.,
          Northern Territory Department of primary Industry and Fisheries.




                                           69
                    UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006




 14 TABLES OF FISHERIES R&D PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
              1998-2002 AND 2002 to 2003-04
                  WITH EVALUATION OF
            PROGRESS FOR EACH PROJECT.

NB. These tables were not updated in 2006 for 2005 projects as a full review of the R&D
Plan is due in early 2007.




                                            70
                                                        UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 1a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS FOR BARRAMUNDI FROM 1998 TO 2002
   PLANNED       SPECIFIC R&D                                                           PLANNED                                                     MANAGEMENT ACTION OR
                                                       PROJECTS                                              2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES         OUTPUTS                                                              DURATION                                                      ACTUAL OUTCOMES
                                                                                                   - Monitoring of NT barramundi population
                                        - Assessment of barramundi stocks using
                                                                                                     with an emphasis on the Mary River has       Recruitment and population
                                          analysis of catch and effort trends,
                                                                                                     continued using trends in catch and           fluctuations in the Mary River
                                          depletion experiments (mainly in the         1999-2003
                                                                                                     effort data from commercial returns,          monitored and no management
                                          Corroboree Billabong), sampling of
                                                                                                     annual closed area depletion sampling         action was indicated.
                                          migrating recruits and analysis of data
                Reports on the                                                                       and analysis of data from tag returns.
                                          from tag returns.
                 status of NT           - Assess the impact of saline intrusion and
                 stocks of                of saline intrusion controls on              1999-2002   - Project continuing in 2002.                  Project continuing
 SUSTAINABLE
                 barramundi. These        barramundi in the Mary River wetlands.
 HARVESTING      reports will include
                 sustainability         - Assess the effects of crocodile
                                                                                                   - Not carried out up to 2002 but external
                 indicators.              predation, cryptic mortality and                                                                        There was no outcome from this
                                                                                       1999-2003     funding being sought for cryptic mortality
                                          movement of fish in tidal areas on                                                                       project as at June 2002.
                                                                                                     study
                                          resource estimates.
                                        - Assess survival of Manton Dam stocked
                                                                                       2000-01     - Up to 2001, not carried out.                 Project not done.
                                          fish.
                                        - Participation in FISHCOUNT 2000.
                                                                                       2000-02     See environment and habitat sub-program.


                Provision of
                  information on the    - The effects of commercial barramundi
                  bycatch from            fishing on protected biota such as
PROTECTION OF     commercial and          dugongs and turtles (see also Table 21                                                                   See Table 21 Environment and
                                                                                       1999-2002   Not carried out.
 BIODIVERSITY     recreational            Environment and Habitat).                                                                                Habitat.
                  barramundi
                  fishing.



                Determination of the    - The value of the recreational fishing
                 economic benefits        experience (addressed nationally by
                                                                                                   Results not available as at June 2002.         Results not available as at June 2002.
   OPTIMUM       of impoundment           Hundloe et al.)
                                                                                       1999-2003
  UTILISATION    stocking and value     - Analysis and quantification of stakeholder
                                                                                                   Not carried out.                               Not carried out.
                 of recreational          competition for the NT barramundi
                 fishing experience.      resource.




                                                                                            71
                                                           UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 1b. LIST OF BARRAMUNDI R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


  PLANNED            SPECIFIC R&D
                                                      2002 PROJECTS                     PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                       2003-04 PROJECTS                    PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
 OUTCOMES             OUTCOMES
                                                                                                                             - Assessment of trends in barramundi      - This assessment continues into
                                                 - Monitoring trends in             - On-going – Status report prepared –      catch and effort, including               2004.
                                                   barramundi catch and effort        annual Corroboree Billabong              sustainability indicators, assessment
                                                   from commercial returns and        depletion experiment conducted –         of risks and development of trigger
                                                   other sources [H].                 no new significant developments.         points/ performance indicators.
                                                 - Investigating barramundi
                                                   biology including:               - FRDC project to be completed by        - New research on:
                                                   Assessment of cryptic              Nov 2003. Results pertinent to small      effects of catch and release on        - A report on this work has been
                                                   mortality and stress               to medium size fish in freshwater         survival and reproduction of mature      prepared and issued.
                Annual reports on the status       physiology of barramundi           only.                                     fish;
SUSTAINABLE      of NT barramundi stocks,          caught and released by                                                       precise location of spawning areas;
HARVESTING       including sustainability          anglers [H];                     - No new work apart from 2000 survey        assessment of changes in a closed
                 indicators.                       Continued monitoring of            and analysis of FTO data                  billabong over the course of a dry     - These potential projects have
                                                   recreational fishing [M];                                                    season;                                  not been commenced but are
                                                 - Assessment of fish               - Completed end of 2001                    levels of crocodile predation;            still applicable. Further planning
                                                   passageways on fish                                                         tracking movements of barramundi in       will commence when the new
                                                   migration, particularly in the   - No new work. AFANT has data from          tidal waters;                            barramundi research officer
                                                   Mary River system [M];             diary and tagging programs.              assessment of survival of stocked         commences duty.
                                                 - Collection of data from areas                                                fish in Manton Dam;
                                                   where harvesting is not                                                      refinement of habitat component in
                                                   occurring [L].                                                               stock assessment model for
                                                                                                                                barramundi.
                                                 - Based on valuation of                                                     - Measurement of impact of gill nets
                                                   recreational fishing                                                         on non-target species, including       - These projects have not been
                Provision of information on        experience and commercial                                                    turtles, sawfish, dugong and crabs       commenced due to a lack of
                                                                                    - None - should still be a priority –
                  amounts and identity of          landed values, determine                                                                                              resources but they are still
PROTECTION OF                                                                         results from 2000 National
                  bycatch from both                best possible distribution of                                             - Determination of shark bycatch/           considered to be important.
 BIODIVERSITY                                                                         Recreational Fishing Survey will
                  commercial and                   effort between stakeholders                                                 byproduct limits for the Barramundi
                                                                                      assist.
                  recreational fishing             [H] (see also recreational                                                  Fishery.
                                                   fishing and coastal net and
                                                   line sub-programs).
                Basis for valuation of the
                  social benefit associated
                  with recreational
                  barramundi fishing             - Study on determining social      - None - results from 2000 National      - Provide options paper on allocation     - Although data from the 2000
                  provided.                        value of recreational fishing      Recreational Fishing Survey will         of resources between stakeholders,        National Recreational and
  OPTIMUM
                Optimum distribution of            [L].                               assist.                                  including economic and social             Indigenous Fishing survey is
 UTILISATION      fishing effort between                                                                                       benefits to the NT community              now available, further research
                  stakeholders found                                                                                                                                     is required to complete the
                (see also recreational fishing                                                                                                                           necessary analysis.
                  and coastal net and line
                  sub-programs)




                                                                                                 72
                                                       UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 2a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS FOR MUD CRAB FROM 1998 TO 2002.
   PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D                                                          PLANNED                          MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                         PROJECTS                                    2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES            OUTPUTS                                                             DURATION                                 OUTCOME

                                             - Monitoring of the commercial                                               - Population monitoring has shown that
                                                                                       1999-2003     Continued
                                               catch, fishing effort and size                                               although exploitation rate is high there is
                                               composition                                                                  currently no indication of over-harvesting.
                Fishery assessment           - Genetic identification of the NT                                           - Distinct populations with two species have
                  reports on the status of                                             1999-2001     Completed
                                               stock distribution                                                           been identified across northern Australia.
                  NT stocks of mud crabs.
 SUSTAINABLE                                 - Tagging study for spawning                            Combined with
                  These reports will
 HARVESTING                                    behaviour and movement during           1999-2001      following project
                  include sustainability
                                               spawning
                  indicators.
                                             - Density estimate experiments to
                                               determine stock size and                                                   - Although not yet completed, these projects
                                                                                       2000-02       Continuing
                                               identification and quantification of                                         are already providing valuable information
                                               mud crab habitats utilising satellite                                        on stock size and distribution.
                                               imagery and aerial photography

                There are no relevant
                 bycatch problems with
                 the Mud Crab Fishery
PROTECTION OF                                                                                                             - There are no relevant biodiversity issues
                 although nets for           Nil
 BIODIVERSITY                                                                                                               associated with this fishery.
                 obtaining bait in some                                                              N/A
                 areas may have a small
                 bycatch.


                Determination of the         - The catch from the recreational
                 contribution of               and Indigenous sectors will be
                 Indigenous and                calculated from the 2000 National       2000-02       Continuing           - The 2000 National Recreational Fishing
  OPTIMUM
                 recreational sectors to       Recreational Fishing Survey data                                             Survey data is being analysed.
 UTILISATION     the overall exploitation      and information on allocation and
                 of mud crab stocks.           usage between stakeholders
                                               investigated.




                                                                                            73
                                                       UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 2b. LIST OF MUD CRAB PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH PERIOD.
    PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                                                PROGRESS 2003 TO
                                                    2002 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS 2002 TO 2003                  2003-04 PROJECTS
   OUTCOMES           OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                        2004

                                               - Continued monitoring the                                            - Continued monitoring the status of      - Monitoring for four regions
                                                 status of the NT mud crab      - Ongoing monitoring maintained.       the NT mud crab fishery with an           was undertaken. Data
                                                 fishery with an emphasis on                                           emphasis on three commercially            analyses indicated a
                 Fishery assessment
                                                 three commercially exploited                                          exploited areas using commercial,         significant reduction in
                   reports on the status of
                                                 areas using commercial,                                               recreational and Indigenous               carapace width for most
                   NT stocks of mud crabs.
                                                 recreational and Indigenous                                           (where available) catch, effort, size     regions – management
                   These reports will
                                                 (where available) catch,                                              frequency data as well as area            trigger point exceeded.
                   include sustainability
                                                 effort, size frequency data                                           depletion experiments as required
                   indicators.
                                                 as well as area depletion                                             [H].                                    - Mud crab status report
  SUSTAINABLE                                    experiments as required [H].                                                                                    and special situation
                 Management Plan for the
  HARVESTING                                                                                                         - Annual evaluation of sustainable          reports were completed.
                  mud crab fishery
                                               - Annual evaluation of           - Annual Status Report and special     catch levels for the mud crab           - FRDC final report nearing
                  reviewed.
                                                 sustainable catch levels for     situation report prepared.           stocks [H ].                              completion.
                                                 the mud crab stocks [H].
                 Environmental
                                                                                                                     - Complete FRDC project on                - No progress. Queensland
                  accreditation under the
                                               - Complete FRDC project on       - Continuing.                          mapping mud crab habitats [H].            has submitted an FRDC
                  EPBC Act obtained for
                                                 mapping mud crab habitats                                                                                       proposal which includes
                  mud crab exports.
                                                 [H ].                                                               - Develop pre-recruit index for mud         some of this work – NT is
                                                                                                                       crabs [H]                                 a collaborator in this
                                                                                                                                                                 proposal.


                 Bycatch from crab pots                                                                                                                        - Bycatch data collected
                  quantified and whether                                                                             - Study of bycatch from pots [L].           during FRDC project and
                                               - Study of bycatch from pots     Ongoing.
                  its capture is affecting                                                                                                                       monitoring work. Analysis
                                                 and bait nets [M - L].
                  biodiversity determined.                                                                                                                       only partially completed.
 PROTECTION OF
  BIODIVERSITY   The effects of bait fishing                                                                         - Study of bycatch from bait nets [M].    - No progress – there is
                  associated with the                                                                                                                            some scope to include this
                  commercial fishery also                                                                                                                        work as part of shark
                  need to be addressed.                                                                                                                          bycatch monitoring project




                                                                                           74
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 2b (cont). LIST OF MUD CRAB PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH PERIOD.


   PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                                                 PROGRESS 2003 TO
                                                  2002 PROJECTS                    PROGRESS 2002 TO 2003                     2003-04 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES           OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                         2004

                The industry code of                                           - FRDC funded project to commence in    - Reduction of post-harvest mortality    - Queensland-NT industry
                 conduct refined,            - Reduction of post-harvest         2003.                                   due to handling and transport [M].       led project has
                 particularly in reduction     mortality due to handling                                                                                          commenced and is due for
                 of mortality during post-     and transport [ M ].                                                                                               completion in 2007.
                 harvest handling and
                 transport of crabs.

                Determination of the
                 proportion of the overall
                 catch being taken by        - See recreational fishing.       - Survey results available – analysis   - See recreational fishing.              - Data analysed and reports
                 recreational and                                                during 2003.                                                                     completed.
                 Indigenous fishers.

   OPTIMUM      This information is
  UTILISATION    available through the
                 2000 National               - Investigated development        - Not commenced.                        - Investigated development potential     - No action
                 Recreational Fishing           potential of areas not                                                    of areas not currently being fished
                 Survey and future              currently being fished M-L ]                                              [M – L]
                 recreational and
                 Indigenous fishing
                 surveys.

                Development of the fishery
                 in areas currently not
                 being fished (off
                 Indigenous land, areas
                 with large tidal range,
                 etc) requires further
                 investigation.




                                                                                         75
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 3a. EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS IN THE COASTAL LINE FISHERY FROM 1998 TO 2002.
   PLANNED         SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                         MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                           PROJECTS                         DURATION     2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES           OUTPUTS                                                                                                                    OUTCOME
                                                                                                                                      As the coastal line fish resources are very
                                                                                                       Project suspended in 2000      important to both the recreational and
                                           - Collection and analysis of biological data.   1999-2002
                                                                                                         due to a lack of funding.    commercial sectors, the suspension of action on
                Reports on the status of                                                                                              this project should be lifted.
                 NT stocks of coastal      - Analysis of logbooks from commercial
                                                                                           1999-2002   Report completed.             Copies of report sent to commercial operators.
                 fish species. These         fishers and fishing tour operators.
 SUSTAINABLE     reports will include      - Tagging program to determine movement
                 sustainability                                                            1999-2001   Work suspended.               See above.
 HARVESTING                                  and exploitation rates
                 indicators for the        - Analysis of the 2000 National Recreational                                              The report on the 2000 National Recreational
                 principal species.          Fishing Survey data on recreational and       1999-2001   To be completed.               Fishing Survey is due for completion in late
                                             Indigenous fishing                                                                       2002.
                                           - Review of the multi-species modelling                                                   There was some progress on this modelling from
                                                                                                       Work suspended.
                                             options for the fishery.                      1999-2001                                  the Prof. Walters workshops.


                Report provided on the     - Monitoring program for the coastal line
PROTECTION OF
                 composition of catch        fishery to determine catch composition and    1999-2002   Work suspended.               See above
 BIODIVERSITY    from principal sectors      spatial distribution of species.


                                           - There is also a need to optimise
                Recreational fishing                                                                   Work suspended.
                                             recreational access to the resource.
                 access optimised and
   OPTIMUM
                 appropriate                                                               2000-02                                   See above
  UTILISATION                              - The commercial component of these
                 commercial gear
                                             fisheries needs projects in the areas of
                 developed.                                                                            Not commenced.
                                             gear development and marketing to assist
                                             in their further development.




                                                                                           76
                                                       UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 3b. LIST OF COASTAL LINE R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH PERIOD.
    PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D                                               PROGRESS 2002 to
                                                2002 PROJECTS                                                     2003-04 PROJECTS                        PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
   OUTCOMES         OUTCOMES                                                       2003

                                           - Collection and analysis of      - Project suspended in    - Complete the analysis and publish the          - Data is incomplete. Spatial and
                                             biological data.                  2000 due to a lack of     results of data already collected during the     temporal gaps need to be filled.
                                                                               funding.                  previous research project [H].                   Recent analysis by AIMS and
                                           - Analysis of logbooks from                                                                                    James Cook University
                                             commercial fishers and          - Report completed.       - Continue collection of the commercial catch      inconsistent with work completed
                                             fishing tour operators.                                     and effort information needed for ongoing        previously. Clearly additional
                 Reports on the status                                                                   monitoring of the stocks [H].                    resources are required to
                  of NT stocks of          - Tagging program to              - Work suspended.                                                            complete this work.
                  coastal fish species.      determine movement and                                    - Continue collection of information on          - Catch and effort data analysed
  SUSTAINABLE     These reports will         exploitation rates.                                         coastal recreational fishing, including          and reported in status report.
  HARVESTING      include sustainability                                                                 through repeats of the National
                  indicators for the       - Analysis of the 2000 National   - To be completed.          Recreational and Indigenous Fishing            - Second recreational survey
                  principal species.         Recreational Fishing Survey                                 Survey [H].                                      completed – report published.
                                             data on recreational and
                                             Indigenous fishing.                                       - Recommence collection of biological data       - Not resourced - no further
                                                                                                         on the major species, especially black           biological data collected
                                           - Review of the multi-species     - Work suspended.           jewfish and golden snapper [M].
                                             modelling options for the                                                                                  - FRDC project submitted to assess
                                             fishery.                                                  - Test research methods for assessing              the effect of target fishing on
                                                                                                         effects of fishing on aggregating species        jewfish
                                                                                                         [M].

                 Report provided on        Monitoring program for the                                                                                   - Not resourced. Some scope for
                                                                                                       Identification and quantification of bycatch
 PROTECTION OF    the composition of        coastal line fishery to          Work suspended.                                                              inclusion as part of shark bycatch
                                                                                                         taken by commercial and recreational
  BIODIVERSITY    catch from principal      determine catch composition                                                                                   monitoring project.
                                                                                                         sectors [M]
                  sectors                   and spatial distribution of
                                            species.

                                                                                                       - The recreational component of the coastal
                                           There is also a need to                                        line fishery is about six times the
                                            optimise recreational access                                  commercial catch. There is already some
                                            to the resource.                 Work suspended.              conflict between stakeholders for the
                 Recreational fishing                                                                     resource. There is also a need to optimise    - No action. Not resourced
                  access optimised         The commercial component of                                    recreational access to the resource [M].
   OPTIMUM
                  and appropriate           these fisheries need projects    Not commenced.            - The commercial component of these
  UTILISATION     commercial gear           in the areas of gear                                          fisheries needs projects in the areas of
                  developed.                development and marketing                                     gear development, quality assurance and
                                            to assist in their further                                    marketing to assist in their further
                                            development.                                                  development [M].
                                                                                                       - Investigation of catch and release to
                                                                                                          estimate cryptic mortality.




                                                                                           77
                                                         UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 4a. EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS ON SPANISH MACKEREL FROM 1998 TO 2002.


    PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                                  MANAGEMENT ACTION OR
                                                          PROJECTS                  DURATION                   2002 EVALUATION
   OUTCOMES            OUTPUTS                                                                                                                       ACTUAL OUTCOME
                                                                                                                                              - Monitoring has shown no evidence of
                                                 - Monitoring of commercial
                                                                                    1999-2002    Continuing.                                    over-harvesting. The current
                                                   catch and fishing effort.
                                                                                                                                                management of this fishery is adequate.
                                                 - Stock discrimination study                                                                 - Several distinct stocks identified off
                 Fishery assessment                and determination of stock       1999-2001    Completed                                      northern Australia with minimal
                   reports on the status of        movement and exchange.                                                                       exchange between them.
  SUSTAINABLE      NT stocks of Spanish          - Determination of
                   mackerel. These reports                                          1999-2001    Continuing.                                  - Indicator models still being developed.
  HARVESTING                                       sustainability indicators.
                   will include sustainability   - Electrophoretic identification
                   indicators.                                                      1999-2000    Not carried out due to funding constraints   - No further action planned for this project.
                                                   of mackerel species.
                                                 - Review the appropriateness                    New project funded by FRDC to develop        - The new tagging technology and the
                                                   of a tagging program to                        methods for the bulk mark-recapture of        fishery models being developed to
                                                                                    1999-2000
                                                   determine movement and                         Spanish mackerel, using genetic tagging       analyse the results should have wide
                                                   exploitation rates.                            technology.                                   application in this and other fisheries.

                 Other than protection of
                  the stocks from over-
                  exploitation, there does       - Log books will be needed to
 PROTECTION OF
                  not appear to be any             monitor levels of any            1999-2002    Log book data collected.                     - Logbook data still being analysed.
  BIODIVERSITY    need for projects aimed          bycatch
                  at protecting
                  biodiversity.


                 Contribution of                 - The catch from the
                  recreational fishing to          recreational fishery
   OPTIMUM                                                                                       2000 National Recreational Fishing Survey    - 2000 National Recreational Fishing
                  the overall exploitation         calculated from 2000             2000-2002
  UTILISATION                                                                                      proceeding.                                  Survey data still being analysed.
                  of Spanish mackerel              National Recreational
                  determined.                      Fishing Survey




                                                                                            78
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 4b. LIST OF SPANISH MACKEREL R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH PERIOD.
   PLANNED           SPECIFIC R&D
                                                      2002 PROJECTS                     PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                    2003-04 PROJECTS                 PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
  OUTCOMES            OUTCOMES
                                                                                                                           Provision of ongoing assessments of   - Descriptions provided in
                                               - Provision of up-to-date               - Descriptions provided in status     the NT Spanish mackerel stocks        Fisheries Status Reports.
                Fishery assessment reports
                                                 descriptions of NT Spanish              reports.                            [H].
                  on the status of the NT
                                                 mackerel stocks [H].                                                      Continue development of
                  stocks of Spanish
                                               - Development of methodology for                                              methodology for mark-recapture of   - Genetag methodology
                  mackerel, including
                                                 mark-recapture of Spanish             - Genetag technology further          Spanish mackerel, including bulk      developed and currently
                  sustainability indicators.
                                                 mackerel, including bulk tagging        developed to stage of               tagging methodology and               undergoing full-scale field trials.
                                                 methodology and recreational            comprehensive field testing.        recreational tagging protocols in
                Management Plan for
                                                 tagging protocols in                                                        collaboration with FRDC project
                 Spanish mackerel fishery
                                                 collaboration with FRDC project                                             Genetag [H].                        - This work is continuing with
 SUSTAINABLE     reviewed.
                                                 Genetag [H].                                                              Provision of information for the        some aspects being examined in
 HARVESTING                                    - Provision of information for the                                            management of the fishery using       Buckworth (2004) PhD thesis.
                New tagging methodology
                                                 management of the fishery using       - Information provided.               stock assessment, effort dynamics
                 developed and applied to
                                                 stock assessment, effort                                                    and population models to identify
                 improve accuracy of stock
                                                 dynamics and population models                                              the potential of the fishery,
                 modelling.
                                                 to identify the potential of the                                            including risk assessment and       - Not resourced. No progress
                                                 fishery [M].                                                                sustainability indicators [M].
                Environmental accreditation
                                               - Pilot investigation of the value of   - Project not carried out.          Pilot investigation of the value of
                 under the EPBC Act
                                                 morphometric information in                                                 morphometric information in
                 obtained.
                                                 monitoring the mackerel fishery                                             monitoring the mackerel fishery
                                                 [L].                                                                        [L].
                The trophic relationships
                  between mackerel and its     - Information on diet of Spanish                                            - Information on diet of Spanish
                  environment defined,           mackerel and bycatch to be                                                   mackerel and bycatch to be         - Bycatch recorded during fishery
                                                                                       - Resources not available to
                  including description of       collected during onboard                                                     collected during onboard             monitoring, otherwise not
                                                                                         collect information on diet but
PROTECTION OF     diet and its associations.     monitoring [M].                                                              monitoring [M].                      resourced.
                                                                                         bycatch data collected
 BIODIVERSITY     Non-target catch
                                                                                         opportunistically.
                  documented.                  - Opportunistic collection of                                               - Opportunistic collection of         - Not resourced.
                Risk assessment of fishery       biological information on other                                             biological information on other
                  impacts on bycatch/            pelagic fish [M]                                                            pelagic fish [M]
                  byproduct

                Information gathered on the    - Collection of information on          - Data collected during the 2000    - Analysis of information on          - Data collected, database
                  harvest levels of the          recreational and Indigenous             National Recreational Fishing       recreational and Indigenous           developed and reports
                  commercial, recreational       harvest (see 2000 National              Survey but analysis not             harvest collected during the 2000     published.
   OPTIMUM        and Indigenous sectors.        Recreational Fishing Survey)            available at this time.             National Recreational Fishing
  UTILISATION                                    [M]                                                                         Survey [M]
                Equitable and optimised
                 catch sharing between         - Project to be formulated by                                               - Project on catch sharing to be
                 shareholder groups              industry [L].                         - Project not carried out.            formulated [M]                      - Not carried out.
                 implemented.




                                                                                           79
                                                        UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 5a. EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS ON THE SHARK FISHERY FROM 1998 TO 2002.


  PLANNED           SPECIFIC R&D                                                      PLANNED                                     MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                       PROJECTS                                        2002 EVALUATION
 OUTCOMES             OUTPUTS                                                         DURATION                                            OUTCOME
                                              - Collation and reporting on                                                        - Preliminary analysis of this data has not
                                                                                  1999-2000        -   Completed in 2000.
                                                existing data.                                                                      shown any indications of over harvesting.
                                              - Review of logbook program
               Fishery assessment reports       and implementation of                              - Reported for action in
                                                                                                                                  - Logbook program revised and changes
                 on the status of NT stocks     monitoring program at sea to      1999-2002          2001. Development of a
                                                                                                                                    implemented.
SUSTAINABLE      of commercial sharks and       improve data quality and                             tagging program planned.
HARVESTING       grey mackerel. These           type
                 reports to include           - Investigate effects of                                                            - FRDC funded project, Northern Australian
                 sustainability indicators.      fisheries in jurisdictions and                                                     sharks and rays: the sustainability of target
                                                 bycatch in Australian waters     1999-2001        - Only planning carried out.     and bycatch species, phase 2, from 2002
                                                 are having on northern shark                                                       to 2005.
                                                 populations.

               Quantity and composition of
                commercial sharks taken
PROTECTION      in other fisheries            - Identification of species in
     OF         assessed, including target       the commercial catch (a          1999-2001        - See FRDC funded project      - See FRDC project above.
BIODIVERSITY    and non-target species           CSIRO project).                                     above.
                taken by pelagic nets and
                longlines.


               Interaction between
                 commercial and
                                              No projects developed               ?                - No progress reported.        - This output was not considered necessary.
                 recreational fishing
  OPTIMUM        established.
 UTILISATION
               Shark market value
                                              - Development of markets for                         - Commercial fishers have
                maximised, including                                                                                              - Commercial fishers should continue to
                                                shark parts not traditionally     1999-2002          been developing these
                markets for shark and                                                                                               develop these markets.
                                                sold.                                                markets.
                shark parts.




                                                                                              80
                                                        UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 5b. LIST OF SHARK AND GREY MACKEREL PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.
   PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                                                                     PROGRESS 2003 TO
                                                     2002 PROJECTS                           PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                           2003-04 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES         OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                                             2004

                                          - Continue analysis and refinement of         - Shark fishery status report includes       - Analysis and refinement of grey
                Fishery assessment           catch and effort information from            summary of catch and effort                   mackerel catch and effort                - Work continuing.
                  reports on the status      fishers’ logs including, when available,     information.                                  information from fishers logs
                  of the fishery             information from fleets operating                                                          including, when available,
                  indicating                 outside the AFZ [H].                       - Participation in this project continued.      information from fleets operating
                  uncertainty of          - Participate in the FRDC funded project                                                      outside the AFZ [H].                     - Not funded.
                  assessments and            Northern Australian sharks and rays:       - Industry support agreed to for pilot       - Investigate a rapid assessment
                  predictions, and           the sustainability of target and bycatch      tagging project for principal shark          project for grey mackerel and
 SUSTAINABLE
                  processes by which         species, phase 2 [H].                         species in shark fishery. However, as        develop and test monitoring              - Continuing.
 HARVESTING       uncertainty may be      - Investigate feasibility of tagging to          there is no offshore effort,                 protocols [M].
                  reduced. These             monitor harvest rates and to examine          offshore/onshore migration data from      - Continue participation in the FRDC
                  reports contain            onshore/ offshore migration of blacktip       tagging was not possible; tagging            funded project Northern Australian
                  sustainability             sharks [M].                                   would be primarily to estimate fishing       sharks and rays: the sustainability of
                  indicators.             - Investigate a rapid assessment project         mortality (F).                               target and bycatch species, phase '      - Not funded
                                             for grey mackerel and develop and                                                          [H].
                                             test monitoring protocols [M].                                                          - Investigate feasibility of tagging to
                                                                                                                                        monitor harvest rates (F) for sharks
                                                                                                                                        [M].

                Species and quantity      - Participate in FRDC funded project          - Participation in this project continued.   - Continued participation in FRDC
                 of retained and            Northern Australian sharks and rays:                                                       funded project Northern Australian        - Continuing.
                 incidental bycatch         the sustainability of target and bycatch                                                   sharks and rays: the sustainability of
                 determined and any         species, phase 2 (see above).               - This information is also collected as        target and bycatch species, phase 2
PROTECTION OF    important effects                                                        part of the FRDC project.                    (see above), including collection of
 BIODIVERSITY    that the fishery may     - Collection of bycatch data from                                                            bycatch data from commercial
                 be having on the           commercial fishers [M].                                                                    fishers [M].
                 species composition
                 of elasmobranches
                 and other aquatic
                 species

                The economics and         - Assess the need of a food safety plan                                                    - Industry projects to assess the need
                 profitability of the       for the NT shark fishery [M].               - Project not carried out.                      of a food safety plan for the NT
                 commercial shark                                                                                                       shark fishery and examination            - Not funded.
                 fishery assessed by      - Examine potential markets and                                                               potential markets for utilisation of
   OPTIMUM       the commercial             utilisation of bycatch species.             - Project not carried out.                      bycatch species [M].
  UTILISATION    industry, including
                 assessment of                                                                                                       - Development of an options paper on
                 current and potential                                                                                                 allocation models and promotion of
                 market                                                                                                                shark fishing as a recreational           - Not funded.
                 improvements.                                                                                                         fishing experience [L].




                                                                                               81
                                                          UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 6a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS ON THE TIMOR REEF AND DEMERSAL FISHERIES FROM 1998 TO 2002.
  PLANNED         SPECIFIC R&D
                                                      PROJECTS                   DURATION           2002 EVALUATION               MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL OUTCOMES
 OUTCOMES           OUTPUTS

                                            - Fishing power survey to enable    1999-2001        Completed.                       - Accuracy of stock assessment has been improved.
                                              standardisation of CPUE.
                                            - Collection and analysis of
                                              length at maturity and age        1999-2002        Continuing.
               Fishery assessment             data.
                 reports on the status                                                                                            - A collaborative ACIAR funded project with NT, CSIRO and
                 of NT stocks of            - Obtain data on catches from                                                           Indonesia was initiated in 1999. This has focused on
SUSTAINABLE                                                                                      Data not obtained up to
                 Pristipomoides spp.          Indonesian waters in the                                                              goldband snapper and red snappers (stocks off northern
                                                                                1999-2003         June 2002 but attempts
HARVESTING       These reports will           Arafura and Timor Seas to
                                                                                                  continuing.                       Australia, eastern Indonesia, and East Timor).
                 include sustainability       improve stock estimates.
                 indicators.                - Determination of stock
                                              structure off northern            2000-03          Continuing.
                                              Australia.
                                            - Barotrauma experiments to
                                                                                                 Funded by FRDC or NT was
                                              provide data for tagging and      1999-2001                                         - Project was not carried out.
                                                                                                  not obtained.
                                              migration experiments.

               As the fishery is using
PROTECTION      lines and traps, the        - Data on the level of bycatch in                                                     - Continuing but as the fishery is using lines and traps, the
                                                                                1998-2002        Continuing.
     OF         bycatch and habitat           the snapper fishery to be                                                             bycatch and habitat damage is not regarded as
BIODIVERSITY    damage is not                 collected through log books.                                                          significant..
                regarded as
                significant.
                                            - Development of a management
               There is no interaction         strategy of waters between
                                                                                1999-2002        Continuing.                      - See collaborative project above.
                between commercial             NT, Queensland, WA and
                and recreational               Indonesia.
                stakeholders due to         - Annual update of the economic
                little or no recreational                                       1999-2002        Continuing.                      - Reports presented to industry and Government.
                                               performance of the industry.
  OPTIMUM       activity on the principal
                                            - Influence of offshore oil and                                                       - Although oil and gas development may influence catches
 UTILISATION    harvested species.                                                               Not carried out due to lack of
                                               gas development on catches       1999-2001                                           and catch rates, short resources have not allowed the
                                                                                                  resources.
                                               and catch rates.                                                                     study to proceed.
               Investigation of the
                 economic                   - Effects of environmental
                                                                                                 Not carried out up until         - Project planned to proceed from 2002 onwards.
                 performance of the           influences such as the El Ninõ    2000-02
                                                                                                  2002.
                 Timor Reef fishery.          and La Nina events in fishery
                                              profitability.




                                                                                            82
                                                          UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 6b. LIST OF TIMOR REEF + DEMERSAL FISHERIES R&D PROJECTS 2002 TO 2004 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.
  PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D
                                                   2002 PROJECTS                       PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                       2003-04 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
 OUTCOMES           OUTCOMES

                                            - Continue monitoring of catch and    Project continuing.                        - Continue monitoring of catch and
                                              effort information provided by                                                   effort information provided by        - Continuing
                                              fishers [H].                                                                     fishers [H].
                                            - Completion of project on            Project completed.
                Fishery assessment            biological parameters (growth, F,                                              - Detailed analysis of fine-scale       - Continuing
                  reports on the status       M, recruitment, etc) [M].                                                        spatial data for the fishery using
                  of NT stocks of           - Participate in joint projects,      ACIAR project on snapper stocks              advanced statistical methods [H].
SUSTAINABLE
                  Pristipomoides spp.         especially those that will assist    completed during 2003. Final
HARVESTING        These reports include       in providing data on the             workshop report available in late 2003.   - Participate in the joint snapper      - Continuing.
                  sustainability              harvesting regimes of stocks                                                     stock assessment project funded
                  indicators.                 north of the AFZ and on                                                          by ACIAR to provide data on the
                                              migration between Australian                                                     harvesting regimes of stocks north
                                              waters and waters north of the                                                   of the [H].
                                              AFZ in the Arafura and Timor
                                              Seas [H].


                Other than protection of
                 the stocks from over-
                 exploitation, there        - Data on the level of bycatch in
                 does not appear to be        the snapper fishery will continue   Continuing.                                - Collection of bycatch data from the   - Continuing.
                 any need for projects        to be collected through log                                                      snapper fishery through log books
                 aimed at protecting          books [M].                                                                       and its collation [M].
PROTECTION OF
                 biodiversity. As the
 BIODIVERSITY    fishery principally uses
                 lines and traps, the
                 bycatch and habitat
                 damage is not
                 regarded as
                 significant.


                There is no interaction     - Annual updates of the economic      - Economic analysis published in the
                 between commercial           performance of the industry           fishery status reports.                  - See ACIAR project above.              - Continuing.
  OPTIMUM        and recreational             including the effects of
 UTILISATION     stakeholders due to no       environmental influences [M].       - Investigation of effects of
                 recreational activity in                                            environmental influences on the
                 this fishery.                                                       fishery not carried out.




                                                                                                83
                                                  UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 7a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS ON FINFISH TRAWL FISHERY FROM 1998 TO 2002.


     PLANNED         SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                            MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                      PROJECTS                     DURATION        2002 EVALUATION
    OUTCOMES           OUTPUTS                                                                                                       OUTCOME
                                                                                                                            - Analysis will continue under the ACIAR
                                            - Analysis of existing               1999-2001    Continuing
                  Fishery assessment                                                                                          project (see below).
                                              data/samples in DBIRD.
                    reports on the status
                    of NT stocks of red     - Stock discrimination study         1999-2001    Not done                      - New joint ACIAR funded project to provide
   SUSTAINABLE                                                                                                                this information is planned. to commence in
                    snappers. These         - Obtain data on catches in
   HARVESTING       reports will include      adjacent national and              2000-2002    Not done.                       2002, with DBIRD, CSIRO and RIMF
                    sustainability            international waters                                                            (Indonesia) participating.
                    indicators.
                                                                                              Funding from FRDC or NT was
                                            - Barotrauma experiments.            1999-2002                                  - Project was not carried out.
                                                                                               not obtained.

                  Damage from the single    - Initial studies of species                                                    - Possibly to be picked up under the ACIAR
  PROTECTION OF                                                                  1999 2002    No action until 2002
                   demersal trawl, traps      diversity to be carried out on                                                  project.
   BIODIVERSITY    and lines is minimal.      log book data.


                                            - Workshop to assess red
                                              snapper fishery opportunities                                                 - Provided some information on opportunities
                                                                                 2000         Completed
                                              and the effects of                                                              but further is required.
                                              environmental influences on
                  There is minimal            fishery profitability;
                   interaction between      - Gear trials to determine
                                                                                 2000-2003    Completed                     - Further trials may be needed.
                   commercial and             economical fishing method(s) .
                   recreational             - Biological studies to
    OPTIMUM
                   stakeholders.              determine any relationship
   UTILISATION                                between water temperature,
                                                                                 1999-2003    No action until 2002          - New project being planned by DBIRD.
                  A sustainable economic      schooling and migration.
                    viable fishery          - Development of an effective
                    developed.                marketing strategy to facilitate                                              - Commercial industry will now address this
                                                                                 1999-2002    No action until 2002
                                              adequate returns from the                                                       aspect.
                                              fishery

                                            - Monitoring program to assess                                                  - Commercial industry does not consider this a
                                                                                 1999-2003    No action until 2002
                                              fishery performance                                                             priority project.




                                                                                        84
                                                          UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 7b. LIST OF FINFISH TRAWL R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


  PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D
                                                    2002 PROJECTS                       PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                      2003-04 PROJECTS                    PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
 OUTCOMES           OUTCOMES

                Fishery assessment          - Analysis of existing data/samples     - This formed part of the ACIAR         - Continue monitoring of information      - Monitoring continued.
                  report on the status of     in DBIRD [H].                           snapper study. Final report on this     provided by fishers [H].
SUSTAINABLE       the NT stocks of red      - Stock discrimination study [L].         study is being prepared by CSIRO
HARVESTING        snappers. This report     - Obtain data on catches in adjacent      and will be available shortly.
                  includes sustainability     national and international waters
                  indicators.                 [M].


                Other than protection of    - Only needed if the fishery                                                    - Collation of baseline information       - Work continuing.
                                                                                    - Continuing.
                 the stocks from over-        becomes significant and the trawl                                               on bycatch and byproduct [M].
                 fishing, there is no         fishery expands. Initial studies on
                 need for projects            species diversity can be carried                                              - Assessment of damage caused by          - No progress.
                 aimed at protecting          out from log book data.                                                         the use of traps (this relates to the
                 biodiversity unless                                                                                          Timor Reef and demersal
PROTECTION OF    there is an expansion                                                                                        fisheries) [M].
 BIODIVERSITY    of the trawl fishery.
                 The single demersal
                 trawl licence currently
                 issued uses the
                 environmentally
                 friendly “Julie-Anne”
                 trawl.


                A sustainable economic      - Desktop modelling to determine                                                - Desktop modelling to determine          - No study has been carried out
                  fishery developed.          the likely success of alternative                                               the likely success of alternative         but there are current
                                                                                    - Project not carried out.
                                              fishing method(s), including                                                    development opportunities [H].            applications before NTFDOC to
                                              longlines, traps, trot lines, and                                                                                         test longline equipment and to
                Commercial fishing trial      automatic baiting machines [H].                                                                                           allow access to a further trawler.
                                                                                    - Project still in planning stage.
                 carried out.               - Commercial fishing and marketing                                              - Evaluation of a Code of Practice
                                              trials in locations identified by                                               for commercial stakeholders that        - Project to be carried out by
  OPTIMUM                                     fishers [H].                                                                    will allow maximum return to              industry.
                                                                                    - Part of another project for which
 UTILISATION    A sustainable marketing     - Studies to determine any                                                        operators [H].
                                                                                      external funding is being sought.
                  system developed            relationship between water
                                              temperature, schooling and
                                              migration [M].
                                            - Development of an effective
                                                                                    - Project not carried out.
                                              marketing strategy to facilitate
                                              adequate returns from the fishery
                                              [L].




                                                                                               85
                                                      UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 8b. LIST OF TREPANG R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D
                                                2002 PROJECTS                     PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                    2003-04 PROJECTS                 PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
  OUTCOMES         OUTCOMES

                                         - Continue detailed catch and        - Analysis related to obtaining EPBC   - Continue detailed catch and effort
                Reliable information       effort monitoring program            Act accreditation carried out.         monitoring program [H].              - Status report completed.
                 obtained on             - Study on replenishment rates for
                 recruitment and           fished areas                       - Project not carried out.             - Study on replenishment rates for
 SUSTAINABLE
                 migration rates to                                                                                    fished areas [M].                    - Project not resourced nor
 HARVESTING      establish the periods                                                                                                                        methodology defined.
                 needed to replenish                                                                                 - If required, environmental
                 fished areas.                                                                                         accreditation for export under the
                                                                                                                       EPBC Act obtained [M].               - Assessment continuing.


                There is almost no
                 bycatch taken during
                 collecting operations                                                                                                                      - Not resourced and no planning
                 for trepang,                                                                                        - Evaluation of any proposals to         carried out.
                 however, if trawling                                                                                  supplement or enhance the wild
PROTECTION OF
                 for trepang were        - No projects                        - No projects.                           stock fishery by aquaculture or
 BIODIVERSITY    permitted in the                                                                                      other means [M]
                 future, bycatch
                 would become an
                 important feature of
                 this fishery.


                Optimum utilisation of
                 the trepang
                 resources relates to
                 the replenishment                                                                                                                          - Stock abundance and
                 rates of areas                                                                                                                               distribution project being
   OPTIMUM       fished.                                                                                                                                      planned by industry.
                                         - No projects                        - No projects.                         - No projects at this time.
  UTILISATION
                The question of
                 processing and
                 value adding does
                 not need
                 addressing.




                                                                                           86
                                                         UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 9b. LIST OF NATIVE AQUARIUM FISH R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED         SPECIFIC R&D
                                                  2002 PROJECTS                      PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                      2003-04 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
  OUTCOMES          OUTCOMES

                                            - Maintain a monitoring regime                                                - Maintain a monitoring regime           - Data collected was examined
                Harvesting is carried out     based on daily logbooks for        - Monthly logbook returns continued to     based on daily logbooks for              and the 2003 Status Report
                 in accordance with the       licensees, providing                 be collected.                            licensees, providing validation of       prepared. There was some
                 principles of                validation of these logbooks                                                  these logbooks where possible,           monitoring of estuarine
                 ecologically                 where possible, and                                                           and facilitation of any additional       aquarium fish collecting
                 sustainable                  facilitation of any additional                                                data collection and research             operations.
                 development (ESD)            data collection and research                                                  needed to manage the species
                 and fisheries                needed to manage the                                                          involved [H].
 SUSTAINABLE
                 ecosystem                    species involved [H].
 HARVESTING      management (FEM),                                                                                        - Develop models to achieve rational
                 and ensuring that          - If sufficient data is available,   - Project not carried out.                 harvesting of the resource using       - This project was not resourced.
                 harvesting will not           develop models to achieve                                                    catch, effort, available biological
                 jeopardise the                rational harvesting of the                                                   data, and any other relevant
                 conservation and long         resource using catch, effort,                                                parameters including
                 term sustainability of        available biological data,                                                   environmental accreditation under
                 the species utilised.         and any other relevant                                                       the EPBC Act [M].
                                               parameters [L].


                A conservative approach
                                            - Projects to comply with EA         - Environmental accreditation under      - Collation of baseline information on   - Some monitoring of aquarium
                  to management of
PROTECTION OF                                 requirements for                     the EPBC Act obtained.                   bycatch information                      fish collecting operations
                  Northern Territory
 BIODIVERSITY                                 management will need to be                                                                                             carried out.
                  aquarium fish
                                              considered.
                  adopted.


                There is currently no
                 obvious need for R&D
                 in this area. The 2000
                 National Recreational
   OPTIMUM       Fishing Survey may                                                                                                                                - No data on aquarium fish
                                            - No projects.                       - No projects.                           - No projects at this time.
  UTILISATION    provide further                                                                                                                                     provided in the 2000 National
                 information of the                                                                                                                                  Recreational and Indigenous
                 utilisation of native                                                                                                                               Fishing Survey.
                 freshwater fish for
                 recreational aquarium
                 purposes.




                                                                                                87
                                                      UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 10b. LIST OF DEVELOPMENT FISHERY R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


    PLANNED           SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                                         PROGRESS 2003 TO
                                                     2002 PROJECTS               PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                  2003-04 PROJECTS
   OUTCOMES            OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                 2004

                                                  - Potential projects        - The Northern Territory Fisheries    - Potential projects include:
                                                    include:                    Development Opportunities                                                - Proponent has provided
                 Sustainable utilisation of NT
                                                                                Committee (NTFDOC) has                                                     catch information – desk
                  aquatic resources in line
                                                  - Development of a squid      reservations regarding the          - Development of a squid               top study completed.
                  with ESD principles.
                                                    fishery;                    development of an independent         fishery;
                  Particular account taken of
                                                                                squid fishery and the development                                        - Proponent has provided
                  developmental fisheries
                                                  - Capture of bait fish in     of a bait fishery.                                                         catch information – desk
                  under NT jurisdiction and
                                                    offshore waters;                                                - Capture of bait fish in offshore     top study completed.
                  of trials with fishing
                                                                              - Attempts to develop a jellyfish       waters;
  SUSTAINABLE     vessels or fishing gear in
                                                  - Development of a            fishery have ended without                                               - Project abandoned.
                  fisheries under formal
  HARVESTING      management
                                                    jellyfish fishery;          success.
                                                                                                                    - Development of a jellyfish         - Proponents has provided
                  arrangements.
                                                  - Development of a blue     - NTFDOC received applications for      fishery;                             catch information
                                                    swimmer crab fishery;       development of a blue swimmer
                 Environmental accreditation
                                                                                crab fishery.                       - Development of a blue              - Proponent has provided
                  for export under the EPBC
                                                  - Development of sponge                                             swimmer crab fishery;                catch information and
                  Act obtained for any
                                                    culture;                  - Development of a sponge culture                                            project proceeding.
                  fishery with export
                                                                                project in Arnhem Land is still     - Development of sponge
                  potential.
                                                  - Development of inshore      being considered.                     culture.
                                                    net resources (eg,
                                                    mullet, blue salmon,      - No projects presented.
                                                    garfish, etc.).

                                                                                                                    - Desktop review of the potential    - See above
                 Environmentally sustainable
 PROTECTION OF                                                                                                        implications of harvesting bait
                  development (ESD)               No projects.                No projects.
  BIODIVERSITY                                                                                                        fish, eg predator/prey
                  principles maintained.
                                                                                                                      relationships, etc


                 Commercial fisheries not
                   subject to formal
                   management
                   arrangements (ie,
                   developmental fisheries
    OPTIMUM        under NT jurisdiction)                                                                           - Review of developmental            - Continuing.
                                                  No projects.                No projects.
   UTILISATION     addressed.                                                                                         fisheries policy.
                 Trials with fishing vessels or
                   fishing gear in fisheries
                   under formal management
                   arrangements carried out
                   under reviewed policy.




                                                                                        88
                                                    UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 11a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS ON MOLLUSC AQUACULTURE FROM 1998 TO 2002.


    PLANNED           SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                           MANAGEMENT ACTION OR
                                                             PROJECTS                     DURATION    2002 EVALUATION
   OUTCOMES             OUTPUTS                                                                                                ACTUAL OUTCOMES
                                                                                                                            - Plan to be completed in
                 A Pearl Oyster Industry        - Production of a Pearl Oyster           1999-2000   No action until 2002
                                                                                                                              consultation with industry.
                   Development Plan               Industry Development Plan.
                   produced.                    - Production of pearl oyster histology               Completed in           - Used in assessing health of
                                                                                         1999-2000
                                                  atlas.                                             2002-03                  pearl oysters.
  SUSTAINABLE    Health service provided for
                                                - Monitoring of pearl oyster health.     1999-2003   Ongoing                - Ongoing as required.
   GROWTH OF      the pearl oyster culture
                  industry.                     - Investigation of pearl oyster
     EXISTING                                                                            1999-2003   Ongoing                - Ongoing as required.
                                                  diseases.
   INDUSTRIES
                 Economic efficiency of pearl   - Investigation of biofouling of                                            - Industry is now addressing this
                  culture farming improved.       cultured pearl shells                  2000-2003   Not continued
                                                                                                                              problem.
                                                - Investigation of pearl oyster
                                                  physiology and farm management.        2000-2003   Not continued          - Industry now addressing this


                 Report on feasibility of       - Explore the feasibility of farming                 Not continued due to   - Project on oyster farming off
DEVELOPMENT OF                                                                           1999-2000
                  edible oyster farming in        edible oysters in the NT.                           lack of resources.      Indigenous land under
      NEW         the NT.                                                                                                     consideration.
  SUSTAINABLE
   INDUSTRIES    Report on feasibility of       - Explore the feasibility of farming                 Not continued due to
                  tropical abalone                                                       2000-2001                          - Project not considered a priority.
                                                  tropical abalone in the NT                          lack of resources.
                  aquaculture in the NT.




                                                                                         89
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 11b. LIST OF MOLLUSC AQUACULTURE R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D                   2002 PROJECTS                 PROGRESS 2002 T0 2003                                            PROGRESS SINCE 2003 TO
                                                                                                                2003-04 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES         OUTCOMES                                                                                                                             2004


 SUSTAINABLE                                                                                                                                    - Health services continues for the
               Health service provided   - Monitoring of pearl oyster health                              - Monitoring of pearl oyster health
  GROWTH OF                                                                                                                                       pearling industry, including
                for the pearl oyster       and investigation of pearl oyster   - Monitoring continuing.     and investigation of pearl oyster
    EXISTING                                                                                                                                      disease investigation and health
                culture industry.          diseases [H].                                                    diseases [H].
  INDUSTRIES                                                                                                                                      certification prior to translocation
                                                                                                                                                  of WA oysters to the NT


 DEVELOPMENT   There are currently no
                                         - The feasibility of farming edible
    OF NEW      R&D outcomes
                                           oysters off Indigenous              - Project not commenced.   - No projects.                        - Nil.
 SUSTAINABLE    planned for new
                                           communities [L].
  INDUSTRIES    industries.




                                                                                         90
                                                   UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 12a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS OF EACH FOR FINFISH AQUACULTURE FROM 1998 TO 2002.


     PLANNED           SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                         MANAGEMENT ACTION OR
                                                       PROJECTS                  DURATION            2002 EVALUATION
    OUTCOMES             OUTPUTS                                                                                                              ACTUAL OUTCOMES
                                               - Production of a barramundi
                   A barramundi aquaculture                                                                                            - Plan used for further development of the
                                                 aquaculture industry           1999-2000   - Plan completed.
                     industry plan produced.                                                                                             barramundi aquaculture industry.
                                                 development plan.

   SUSTAINABLE                                                                  1999-2003   - Marine Harvest and other barramundi
                                               - Production of barramundi
    GROWTH OF                                                                                 farmers being provided with larvae and   - Barramundi cage culture and pond
                   Operation of a semi-          larvae and fingerlings for
                                                                                              juvenile barramundi on a commercial        culture developing on a commercial
      EXISTING      commercial barramundi        sale and stocking of
                                                                                              basis. Excess used to stock dams for       basis.
    INDUSTRIES      hatchery to support          enclosed waters
                                                                                              recreational fishing.
                    industry development
                                                                                                                                       - Value of artificial stocking being
                                               - Stocking of Manton Dam.        1999-2002   - Annual stocking carried out.
                                                                                                                                         assessed.

                                               - Investigate potential for
                                                  aquaculture of high value
                                                                                                                                       - Broodstock handling and disease
                   Reports on the technical       tropical species, such as     1999-2002   - Project currently on hold for 2002-03
                                                                                                                                         management work undertaken. A few
                    and economic feasibility      barramundi cod and
                                                                                                                                         spawnings completed.
                    of farming new tropical       possibly cobia.
 DEVELOPMENT OF
                    aquatic species            - Develop copepod feed                                                                  - Technology being used in tropical reef
 NEW SUSTAINABLE    (barramundi cod; cobia,                                     1999-2002   - Project on hold
                                                  technology for larval fish;                                                            fish aquaculture project.
   INDUSTRIES       etc).                      - Develop larval rearing
                                                  techniques, growout
                                                                                                                                       - To be used in the tropical reef fish culture
                                                  protocols and growout         1999-2002   - Not started
                                                                                                                                         project.
                                                  feeds for tropical species
                                                  for tropical species




                                                                                       91
                                                        UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 12b. LIST OF FISH AQUACULTURE R&D PROJECTS 2003 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED      SPECIFIC R&D                2002 PROJECTS               PROGRESS 2002 T0 2003                 2003-04 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS SINCE 2003 TO
  OUTCOMES       OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                2004

 SUSTAINABLE   Operation of a semi-     - Production of a              - All production targets met.    - Production of barramundi larvae       - Improvement of the quality,
  GROWTH OF     commercial                barramundi aquaculture                                          and fingerlings for sale [H].           quantity and reliability of
                hatchery to               Industry Development                                                                                    fingerlings produced…..faster,
    EXISTING
                support and               Plan [H].                                                                                               better, easier!
  INDUSTRIES    encourage                                                                               - Environmental impact cage
                barramundi grow-        - Production of barramundi                                        farming of tropical fish [H].         - Part of an ACIAR project proposal
                out industry.             larvae and fingerlings for                                                                              coordinated by AIMS that intends
                                          sale [H].                                                                                               to look at cage farming effluents in
                                                                                                                                                  Indonesia and the NT.
                                                                                                        - Development of an improved            - Project on hold due to departure of
                                                                                                          system to control and monitor           veterinary pathologist. Currently
                                                                                                          nodavirus in barramundi [H].            being reorganised with Sydney
                                                                                                                                                  University and will be submitted to
                                                                                                                                                  ARC for funds.


DEVELOPMENT    Report on the            - Investigate potential for    - Program for development of     - Investigate potential for
   OF NEW       technical feasibility     aquaculture of                 new sustainable fish             aquaculture tropical reef species     - On hold due to withdrawal of
                of farming                barramundi cod and cobia       aquaculture industries being     [M].                                    industry support – other priorities.
SUSTAINABLE
                barramundi cod            [M], including:                re-evaluated.
 INDUSTRIES     and cobia.              - assessment of the
                                          economic feasibility                                          - Carry out economic feasibility        - Preliminary desktop feasibility has
                                          species;                                                        studies on potential tropical reef      been completed.
               Reports on the           - develop and refine                                              aquaculture species [M].
                economic                  copepod feed technology
                feasibility of            for larval fish;                                              - Carry out feasibility study on fish   - Preliminary desktop study
                production of           - develop broodstock holding                                      aquaculture in central Australia        completed and the conclusion was
                barramundi cod            techniques;                                                     [M].                                    that it is not economically viable.
                and cobia.              - develop larval rearing
                                          techniques;
                                        - develop growout protocols
                                          and feeds.




                                                                                            92
                                                      UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 13a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS FOR CRUSTACEAN AQUACULTURE FROM 1998 TO 2002.


   PLANNED            SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                         MANAGEMENT ACTION OR
                                                             PROJECTS                      DURATION       2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES              OUTPUTS                                                                                                              ACTUAL OUTCOMES
                                                - Production of Prawn Aquaculture         1999-2000
                                                                                                      No action until 2002.                Production of Plan abandoned.
                 Prawn Aquaculture                Development Plan.
                   Development Plan             - Sustainable Penaeus monodon             1999-2002   Negotiating with AFMA and WA
                   produced.                                                                                                               Project given high priority by prawn
                                                  (Tiger prawn) populations for                       for access to resource in the
                                                                                                                                           farmers and NT Government.
                                                  broodstock supply.                                  NPF and the WA coast.
 SUSTAINABLE                                                                              1999-2003                                        Research being carried out in
                 Assistance provided to local   - Ensure reliable supply of locally
  GROWTH OF                                                                                           Project still under consideration.   Queensland but costs currently too
                  industry to develop and         produced Penaeus monodon larvae.
                                                                                                                                           high for a NT project.
    EXISTING      maintain a viable and
  INDUSTRIES      sustainable prawn             - Investigation of feasibility of local   2000-01
                  aquaculture industry.            production of feeds suitable for NT                No action until 2002.                Project not considered viable.
                                                   prawn farming.
                                                - Create and keep current a database      2000-03
                                                   on cultured prawn diseases and
                                                                                                      Continuing.                          Activity to be continued.
                                                   parasites.

                                                - Production of Mud Crab Aquaculture      1999-2000                                        Will form part of the technology
                                                                                                      No action until 2002.
                                                  development Plan                                                                         package below.
                                                                                                      FRDC funded, NT and
                 Mud Crab Aquaculture
                                                                                                      Queensland project still in          A technology package for a mud
                  Development Plan
                                                - Development of a technology                         progress. This project will          crab production system to be
                  produced.
                                                  package for a mud crab production       1999-2001   establish broodstock holding,        developed for transfer to industry
                                                  system for transfer to industry                     larval culture and juvenile          including assessment of commercial
DEVELOPMENT OF   A technology package for a
                                                                                                      production techniques for the        viability.
                   mud crab production
      NEW                                                                                             mud crab Scylla serrata.
                   system produced for
  SUSTAINABLE      transfer to industry.        - Undertake national and international
   INDUSTRIES                                     collaborative nutrition and extension
                                                                                          1999-2002   Completed.                           Final reports under preparation.
                 Report on the feasibility of     work with ACIAR, FRDC, QDPI,
                  tropical rock lobster           UVP and SEAFDEC.
                  aquaculture in the NT         - Feasibility studies on the
                  produced.                       development of viable and
                                                                                                                                           Tropical rock lobster aquaculture
                                                  sustainable tropical rock lobster       1999-2000   Not carried out.
                                                                                                                                           given a low priority.
                                                  aquaculture.




                                                                                          93
                                                       UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 13b. LIST OF CRUSTACEAN R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED      SPECIFIC R&D                2002 PROJECTS               PROGRESS 2002 T0 2003                                                      PROGRESS SINCE 2003 TO
                                                                                                               2003-04 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES       OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                  2004

                                       - Provide reliable and           - Permit system for collecting   - Provide a reliable supply of locally   - AFMA has issued a scientific
                                         sustainable supply of            broodstock from the NPF          produced Penaeus monodon                 permit for collection of broodstock
                                         Penaeus monodon (black           area is now in place after       larvae [H].                              prawns in the NPF waters. Now
                                         tiger prawn) for broodstock      two years of negotiations                                                 negotiating with AFMA to change
               Assistance provided       [H].                             with AFMA.                                                                some of the permit conditions to
 SUSTAINABLE    to local industry to                                                                                                                make it more feasible and efficient.
  GROWTH OF     develop and                                             - Three local prawn
    EXISTING    maintain a viable      - Provide a reliable supply of     hatcheries have been           - Keep collection of information on      - Veterinary pathologist keeping up
  INDUSTRIES    and sustainable          locally produced Penaeus         proposed for development         cultured prawn diseases and              to date with available information.
                prawn aquaculture        monodon larvae [H].              within the next 12 months.       parasites current [M].                   Farms urged to send samples of
                industry.                                                                                                                           diseased prawns to Berrimah
                                       - Create and keep current a      - A collection of information                                               Veterinary Laboratory for analysis.
                                         database on cultured prawn       on cultured prawn diseases
                                         diseases and parasites [M].      in now held at the Berrimah
                                                                          Veterinary Laboratory.

                                                                        - Crablet production system      - Work with Indigenous communities       - Kulaluk crab project still seeking
                                       - Development of a technology
                                                                          established.                     to develop an appropriate                funding. Trial growout of mud
                                         package for a mud crab
                                                                                                           technology package for a mud             crabs in ponds has commenced
DEVELOPMENT    A technology              production system for
                                                                                                           crab production system and               and early results are encouraging.
                 package for a mud       transfer to industry [H].
   OF NEW                                                                                                  undertake growout trials [H].
                 crab production
SUSTAINABLE                                                                                                                                       - One experiment of FRDC project
                 system produced       - Finalise national and
 INDUSTRIES                                                             - DAC contributed to an          - Finalise national collaborative          remaining to complete all
                 for transfer to         international collaborative
                                                                          ACIAR workshop that              nutrition and extension work with        milestones. Final report due by 30
                 industry.               nutrition and extension work
                                                                          reviewed mud crab                FRDC, QDPI [H].                          June 2004.
                                         with ACIAR, FRDC, QDPI,
                                                                          aquaculture.
                                         UVP and SEAFDEC [H].




                                                                                          94
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 14a. EVALUATION OF R&D PROJECT FOR AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY SUPPORT PROGRESS FROM 1998 TO 2002.


    PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                              MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                 PROJECTS                DURATION           2002 EVALUATION
   OUTCOMES            OUTPUTS                                                                                                         OUTCOMES


                  A specialist aquaculture   - Work plan to be                           - John Humphrey was             - A specialised diagnostic health service provided for
                                                                       1999-2003
                    pathology service          provided following                           appointed as specialist        aquaculture and fisheries that undertakes R&D on
  SUSTAINABLE       provided to the            the appointment of                           aquaculture pathologist in     aquaculture health to support the development of the
                    aquaculture industry.      the pathologist.                             1999.                          aquaculture industry and provides information and
   GROWTH OF
                                                                                                                           advice to all aquaculture stakeholders on all
     EXISTING     A general advisory                                                                                       quarantine and health.
   INDUSTRIES       service to industry is
                    also provided.



                                                                                                                         - An aquaculture planning service provided to support
                  Production of regional     - Development of
                                                                                                                           aquaculture development. This service mainly
                    aquaculture plans to       regional aquaculture                      - An aquaculture planner
                                                                       1999-2002                                           identifies suitable sites. It also promotes and
                    ensure that adequate       plans                                       was appointed in 2000.
                                                                                                                           encourages aquaculture development both within the
                    areas suitable for
                                                                                                                           NT and at a national/international level.
                    aquaculture are set
                    aside in an integrated   - Development of an
                    coastal management         aquaculture                               - Aquaculture extension
                    system for the NT.                                                                                   - Aquaculture extension to Indigenous communities
                                               extension service for   1999-2004           service provided to the
DEVELOPMENT OF                                 Indigenous                                  aquaculture industry.
                                                                                                                           needs further attention.
NEW SUSTAINABLE                                communities.
  INDUSTRIES      Facilitation of
                   aquaculture projects
                   that have Indigenous
                   involvement or            - Development and
                   interest.                   refinement of cost-                       - There was little
                                                                                                                         - Cost-benefit models little used in aquaculture
                                               benefit models for      1999-2003           development of these
                                                                                                                           development proposals.
                  Cost-benefit analyses        the significant                             models.
                   provided for                aquaculture sectors.
                   aquaculture projects.




                                                                                    95
                                                      UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 14b. LIST OF AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY SUPPORT PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D                   2002 PROJECTS                  PROGRESS 2002 T0 2003                                                        PROGRESS SINCE 2003 TO
                                                                                                                         2003-04 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES         OUTCOMES                                                                                                                                          2004

               A specialist aquaculture
 SUSTAINABLE     pathology service                                                                                 - Work plan to be provided following
                                                                               - Pathologist appointed in 2002
                 provided to the          - Work plan to be provided                                                 the appointment of the                 - Pathologist position currently
  GROWTH OF                                                                      but resigned in 2003.
                 aquaculture industry.      following the appointment of the                                         replacement pathologist [H]              being readvertised.
    EXISTING                                                                     Replacement fish pathologist
                                            pathologist
  INDUSTRIES                                                                     being recruited.
               A general advisory
                 service to industry is
                 also provided.

               Production of regional
                 aquaculture plans to                                          - GIS/site identification for the                                            - GIS information has been
                 ensure that adequate                                            Tiwi Islands completed and                                                   collected for Groote Eylandt and
                                          - Development of regional                                                - Continue development of regional
                 areas suitable for                                              plan for Groote Eylandt being                                                the Tiwi Islands, however lack of
                                            aquaculture plans.                                                       aquaculture planning [H].
                 aquaculture are set                                             finalised.                                                                   resources is impinging on the
                 aside in an integrated                                                                                                                       development of regional
                 coastal management                                                                                                                           aquaculture plans.
 DEVELOPMENT     system for the NT.
                                                                                                                   - Continue development of an
    OF NEW                                                                                                           aquaculture extension service for
 SUSTAINABLE                                                                                                         Indigenous communities (see also
               Facilitation of                                                                                                                              - Enquiries from aquaculture
  INDUSTRIES                              - Development of an aquaculture                                            Section 12) [H].
                aquaculture projects                                           - Continuing (see also Section                                                 communities are being responded
                                            extension service to Indigenous
                that have Indigenous                                             12).                                                                         to on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Further
                                            communities.
                involvement or                                                                                                                                development/ encouragement of
                interest.                                                                                                                                     Indigenous aquaculture depends
                                                                                                                   - Development and refinement of
                                                                                                                                                              on the fate of a current Cabinet
                                          - Development and refinement of                                            cost-benefit models for the
               Cost-benefit analyses                                                                                                                          submission.
                                            cost-benefit models for the                                              significant aquaculture sectors [L].
                provided for
                                            significant aquaculture sectors.
                aquaculture                                                    - Continuing.
                                                                                                                                                            - None completed.




                                                                                          96
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 15a. 2002 EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS FOR RECREATIONAL FISHING FROM 1998 TO 2002 WITH PROGRESS
           FOR EACH.


   PLANNED       SPECIFIC R&D OUTPUTS                                           DURATIO                                                   MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                                         PROJECTS                                         2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES                                                                         N                                                              OUTCOME
                                                                                               - National Recreational Fishing Survey     - When completed, this survey will provide
                Biology and resource                - National survey of non-   2000-02          and Indigenous Fishing Survey in           important information on which to base
                  assessment of the species           commercial fishing.                        northern Australia nearing completion.     future development of recreational fishing.
                  involved is largely covered by
                                                    - Spatial delineation of
                  the sub-programs on other
                                                       recreational fishing
                  fisheries and species. The                                                   - Not carried out due to lack of
 SUSTAINABLE                                           effort in Darwin         2000-02
                                                                                                 resources.
                                                                                                                                          - Not to be continued.
                  major future project for this
 HARVESTING                                            Harbour and
                  sub-program will be its
                                                           Shoal Bay.
                  participation in the 2000
                  National Recreational Fishing     - A voluntary
                  Survey as part of the core           logbook/monitoring                      - AFANT Angler Diary Program,
                                                                                                                                          - Is providing useful information for fishery
                  development team.                    project to better        1999-2003        BarraWatch and ongoing monitoring of
                                                                                                                                             analyses.
                                                       quantify catches of                       fishing competitions.
                                                       individual species.
                Quantification of target and        - Identification of
                  associated recreational              discarded and/or
                                                                                               - To be completed from the 2000
PROTECTION OF   species in specific areas to           released bycatch
                                                                                2000-03          National Recreational Fishing Survey     - To be completed by late 2002.
 BIODIVERSITY     ensure that aquatic                  made from the 2000
                                                                                                 data.
                biodiversity of the NT is not          National Recreational
                  endangered.                          Fishing Survey.

                                                    - Preparation of a
                                                      Recreational Fishing      1999-2000      Drafted.                                   - Draft Completed.
                Catch of recreationally important     Industry Development
                 species is distributed between       Plan.
                 stakeholders to provide the        - Participation in the
                 optimum economic and social          2000 National
   OPTIMUM       benefits.                                                      2000-02        Occurred.                                  - Ongoing.
                                                      Recreational Fishing
  UTILISATION                                         Survey.
                Fishing Tour Operator (FTOs)
                                                    - To be discussed with      2000-02        Still to be implemented.                   - Still to be implemented.
                  ventures providing adequate
                                                      FTOs and relevant NT
                  service to visiting and local
                                                      Government agencies
                  recreational fishers.
                                                      prior to project
                                                      formulation.




                                                                                          97
                                                           UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 15b. LIST OF RECREATIONAL FISHING R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


  PLANNED          SPECIFIC R&D
                                                 2002 PROJECTS                    PROGRESS 2002 to 2003                      2003-04 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS 2003 TO 2004
 OUTCOMES           OUTCOMES

                Biology and resource        - National survey of non-          - National Recreational Fishing         - Assist assessment of fish stocks      - AFANT logbook program is
                  assessment of the           commercial fishing.                Survey and Indigenous Fishing           through the AFANT logbook               ongoing on the Victoria,
                  species involved is                                            Survey in northern Australia            projects and monitoring of fishing      McArthur, Roper and Adelaide
                  largely covered by the    - Spatial delineation of             completed.                              competitions [M].                       rivers with data provided to NT
                  sub-programs on other       recreational fishing effort in                                                                                     Fisheries annually or as
                  fisheries and species.      Darwin Harbour and Shoal         - Not carried out.                                                                required. Several tournament
                  The major future            Bay.                                                                     - Inclusion of recreational catches       organisers also provide
SUSTAINABLE
                  project for this sub-                                                                                  included in the stock evaluations       competition data to NT
HARVESTING        program will be its       - A voluntary logbook/             - AFANT Angler Diary Program,             of species such as barramundi,          Fisheries.
                  participation in the        monitoring project to better       BarraWatch and ongoing                  Spanish mackerel and mud crabs
                  2000 National               quantify catches of                monitoring of fishing competitions.     [H].                                  - Ongoing
                  Recreational Fishing        individual species.
                  Survey as part of the                                                                                - Development of the 2005 National      - FRDC funding for 2005 survey is
                  core development                                                                                       recreational and Indigenous             to be confirmed. If not
                  team.                                                                                                  Fishing Survey [M].                     forthcoming, local government
                                                                                                                                                                 funding will be requested.
                Quantification of target
                  and associated            - Identification of discarded      - To be completed from the 2000         - Identification of discarded and/or
                  recreational                and/or released bycatch            National Recreational Fishing            released bycatch from data           - The survey results provide detail
PROTECTION OF
                species in specific areas     made from the 2000                 Survey data.                             collected during the 2000 National     on harvested and released fish.
 BIODIVERSITY     to ensure that aquatic      National Recreational                                                       Recreational and Indigenous
                  biodiversity of the NT      Fishing Survey.                                                             Fishing Survey [M].
                  is not endangered.
                Catch of recreationally
                  important species is
                                            - Preparation of a
                  distributed between                                          - Drafted.                              - Analysis of the impact of FTOs on
                                              Recreational Fishing
                  stakeholders to                                                                                        NT fish stocks and recreational       - Project still under development.
                                              Industry Development Plan.
                  provide the optimum                                                                                    fishers [M].
                  economic and social                                          - Occurred.
                                            - Participation in the 2000
  OPTIMUM         benefits.
                                              National Recreational and
 UTILISATION                                  Indigenous Fishing Survey
                Fishing Tour Operator
                  (FTOs) ventures                                              - Still to be implemented.
                                            - To be discussed with FTOs
                  providing adequate
                                              and relevant NT
                  service to visiting and
                                              Government agencies prior
                  local recreational
                                              to project formulation.
                  fishers.




                                                                                                98
                                                      UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 16a. EVALUATION OF R&D PROGRESS FOR ENVIRONMENT AND HABITAT FROM 1998 TO 2002.


   PLANNED         SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                                  MANAGEMENT ACTION OR ACTUAL
                                              PROJECTS                DURATION              2002 EVALUATION
  OUTCOMES           OUTPUTS                                                                                                             OUTCOME
                                                                                 - A new program, Aquatic Pest
                                                                                   Management, was set up in 1999 to cover
                                                                                   this activity. It consists of two projects,   - The program has had success in
                 Threats to stocks of    - Investigation of
                                                                                   Monitoring and Public Education, and            eradication of exotic marine pests from
                  utilised fish and         introduction of exotic
                                                                                   Vessel Inspection Program. The objectives       Darwin marinas.
                  aquatic life              aquatic pests in
                                                                                   of these projects are to develop and
                  assessed.                 ballast water and on     1999-2004
                                                                                   implement management strategies
                                            vessel hulls, as
 CONSERVATION                               required.
                                                                                   designed to minimise the introduction of
   OF AQUATIC                                                                      aquatic marine pest species to protect
  BIODIVERSITY                                                                     biological diversity, aquaculture,
                                                                                   commercial and recreational fisheries,
                 Bycatch from                                                      tourism and port interests.
                  commercial fishing
                  operations             - See projects in the
                  minimised.               individual fishery                    - See projects in the individual fishery and    - See projects in the individual fishery and
                                                                     1999-2003
                                           and activity groups.                    activity groups.                                activity groups.


                                                                                 - New project to examine the role that
                                         - Relationship                            mangroves play in the trophic relationships   - Should provide important information on
                                           between mangroves         1999-2002     of species that depend upon them, and the       the role of mangroves in fisheries
                                           and fish productivity.                  effect of mangroves on the survival of          productivity.
                 Status of coastal and                                             these species.
  PROTECTION       estuarine fishery     - Assessment of need                    - New project to develop and manage the
      OF           habitats assessed       for aquatic reserves                    fisheries component of marine parks in the    - Important in the development and
                   and any necessary                                 1999-2002
   AQUATIC                                 and Marine                              Northern Territory in line with the ANZECC       management of marine parks.
   HABITATS        protection              Protected Areas.                        TFMPA guidelines. -
                   implemented.          - Development of
                                           Cobourg Fishery
                                                                     1999-2001   - Continuing.                                   - Continuing.
                                           and Cobourg Area
                                           Management Plans.




                                                                                   99
                                                        UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 16b. LIST OF ENVIRONMENT AND HABITAT R&D PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED                                                                          PROGRESS SINCE                 2003-04 PROJECTS                     PROGRESS SINCE
                  SPECIFIC R&D OUTPUTS                   2002 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES                                                                               2002                                                                2003

                 Threats to stocks of utilised fish   - Investigation of           - Considered under     - Assessment of NT harvested export           - Continuing but
                  and aquatic life assessed.            introduction of exotic       Control of Aquatic     species for compliance under the EPBC         largely completed.
                                                        aquatic pests in ballast     Pests.                 Act (see individual fisheries) [H].
                                                        water and on vessel
 CONSERVATION                                           hulls, as required.                               - Risk assessment studies on the
   OF AQUATIC                                                                                               probable impacts and/or benefits of         - Continuing
  BIODIVERSITY   Bycatch from commercial fishing                                                            proposed fisheries protected areas
                  operations minimised.               - See projects in the                                 (MPAs) [M].
                                                        individual fishery and     - Continuing.
                                                        activity groups.                                  - Projects also included in Control of        - Continuing.
                                                      -                                                     Aquatic Pests and individual fishery and
                                                                                                            activity groups [M – H].


                                                      - Relationship between                              - Examine role that mangroves play in the
                                                        mangroves and fish         - Continuing.            trophic relationships of species that       - Continuing.
                                                        productivity.                                       depend upon them, and the effect of
                                                                                                            mangroves on the survival of these
                                                      - Assessment of need for                              species [H].
                                                        aquatic reserves and       - Continuing                                                         - Continuing.
                                                        MPAs.                                             - Use trophic models to summarise food
  PROTECTION                                                                                                webs and ecosystem relationships within
                 Status of coastal and estuarine
                                                      - Development of                                      the mangrove community [M].
      OF           fishery habitats assessed and
                                                        Cobourg Fishery and
   AQUATIC         any necessary protection
                                                        Cobourg Area               - Continuing.          - Planning of marine parks to develop and     - Continuing.
   HABITATS        implemented.
                                                        Management Plans.                                   manage the fisheries component of
                                                                                                            marine parks in the Northern Territory in
                                                                                                            line with the ANZECC TFMPA guidelines
                                                                                                            [M].
                                                                                                                                                        - Continuing.
                                                                                                          - Contribute to the planning and
                                                                                                            management of the Northern Territory
                                                                                                            aquatic reserves [M].




                                                                                          100
                                                     UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 17b. LIST OF CONTROL OF AQUATIC PEST PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR EACH.


   PLANNED      SPECIFIC R&D                                                         PROGRESS              2003-04 PROJECTS                       PROGRESS
                                                 2002 PROJECTS
  OUTCOMES        OUTPUTS                                                            SINCE 2002                                                   SINCE 2003

                                       - Inventory of native fouling species in    - Continuing.   - Inventory of native fouling species in    - Continuing
                                         Darwin and Gove Harbours and the                             Darwin and Gove Harbours and the
              Risk of harm to marine
                                         Groote Eylandt area [M].                                     Groote Eylandt area [M].
                fishery-related
                                                                                   - Continuing                                                - Continuing
                resources
                                       - Inventory on the high risk vectors                        - Inventory on the high risk vectors
                minimised, including
                                         introducing and translocating exotic                         introducing and translocating exotic
                destruction of any
                                         species [H].                                                 species [H].
                infestations.
   FISHERY                             - Risk based management of vectors to       - Continuing    - Risk-based management of vectors          - Continuing.
  RESOURCE                               minimise the opportunity for                                to minimise the opportunity for
 PROTECTION                              introduction or translocation of exotic                     introduction or translocation of exotic
              Risk of harm to
                                         species [M].                                                species [M].
                freshwater fishery-
                related resources
                                       - Maintenance of client and stakeholder     - Continuing    - Maintenance of client and
                minimised, including
                                         group awareness regarding the                               stakeholder group awareness               - Continuing.
                destruction of any
                                         undesirable impacts associated with                         regarding the undesirable impacts
                infestations.
                                         reduced biodiversity as a                                   associated with reduced biodiversity
                                         consequence of the introduction of                          as a consequence of the introduction
                                         exotic species [M].                                         of exotic species [M].




              Establishment of
  AQUATIC      aquatic pest species                                                                - Monitoring and destruction of any         - Continuing.
                                       - Monitoring and destruction of any
               in Northern Territory                                               - Continuing      exotic and/or pest freshwater
ENVIRONMENT    inland waters
                                         exotic and/or pest freshwater species
 PROTECTION                              in NT waters [M].                                           species in NT waters [M].
               prevented.




                                                                                        101
                                                   UPDATED - NT FISHERIES R&D PLAN - 2006

TABLE 18b. LIST OF FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT IN REMOTE AREAS PROJECTS 2002 AND 2003-04 WITH PROGRESS FOR
           EACH.


   PLANNED        SPECIFIC R&D                                                                                      2003 PROJECTS                     PROGRESS SINCE 2003
                                             2002 PROJECTS                   PROGRESS SINCE 2002
  OUTCOMES          OUTPUTS

                                     - Establishment of a viable                                            - Establishment of a viable sponge      - Sponge farming project
                                       barramundi sea cage farming           - Viable barramundi sea cage     farming venture in Arnhem Land          continuing
                                       venture at Port Hurd [H].               farm established.              communities [H].

 DEVELOPMENT                         - Establishment of a viable sponge                                     - Establishment of inshore netting      - No progress
OF SUSTAINABLE                         farming venture in Arnhem Land        - Project development            ventures off Arnhem Land for
                   Development         communities [M].                        continuing.                    species such as mullet, milk fish
  INDIGENOUS
                     of a viable                                                                              and garfish [M].
 COMMERCIAL
                    Indigenous       - Establishment of inshore netting
      AND                              ventures off Arnhem Land for                                         - Establishment of recreational         - No progress
                 seafood industry.
 SUBSISTENCE                           species such as mullet, milk fish     - No further development.        fishing tours and access to fishing
    FISHING                            and garfish [M].                                                       areas by other fishing tour
 ENTERPRISES                                                                                                  operators [M].
                                     - Establishment of recreational
                                       fishing tours and access to fishing   - No further development.      - Establishment of mud crab farms at    - No progress
                                       areas by other fishing tour                                            Kulaluk, Maningrida and Howard
                                       operators [M].                                                         Island communities [M].




                                                                                      102

				
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