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									ETBF Resource Sharing - Minutes of Meeting



                         ETBF Resource Sharing Meeting
                           Final Minutes from Working Group Meeting
                                      Holiday Inn Airport – Sydney
                                10.30am – 3.00pm, Wednesday 7 Dec 2005

Bold italics are actions required

Attendees:
       Ewan Colquhoun – chair and facilitator
       Bill Heaton – RFA, AFTA, ACORF
       John Diplock – State agencies
       Grahame Williams – GFAA, Qld Recreational Charter Fleet
       Tony Forster – southern Commercial industry
       Gary Heilmann – northern Commercial industry
       Liz Foster – DAFF
       Peter Ward – BRS
       Julian Pepperell – Pepperell Research – adviser to recreational sector
       Robert Campbell – CSIRO Marine – adviser to commercial sector
       John Talbot – DAFF - part of meeting only
       Matt Gleeson – DAFF - part of meeting only
       Fiona Taylor – DAFF – part of meeting only

1.   Welcome from Chair
     A. Aim of meeting
         To convene the Technical Working Group established at the Resource Sharing
             stakeholder workshop 31 August.
         To review issues identified at that workshop
         To table and discuss data collated and analyzed from commercial and recreational
             sectors
         To consider resource sharing options that could be further developed for
             presentation to DAFF and the Minister
     B. Facilitation Objective – the chair confirmed his role was to provide written and verbal
        advic e to the Department on final options for resource sharing arrang ements in the
        ETBF. A single recommended option was not required but may be provided if all
        parties reach mutual agreement. The task of the Working Group is therefore to work
        with the chair to identify realistic options and ensure the integrity of analys is supporting
        each option. The scope of the resource sharing options includes 5 primary species –
        yellowfin tuna, bigey e tuna, albacore tuna, broadbill swordfish, and striped marlin.
     C. The chair confirm ed it was hi s responsibility to ensure the broader Resource
        Sharing Stakeholder Group (as per 31 August workshop) recei ved prompt advi ce
        regarding Working Group discussi on and outcomes.
     D. John Talbot was available to make a brief pres entation regarding the structural
        adjustment package announced by the Minister on 23 November 2005.

2. John Talbot – Securing Australia’ s Fi shing Future Package
Key points identified by John were:
         The comprehensive package valued at $220 million addresses structural issues in 4
            Commonwealth fisheries – E TBF, Southern and E astern Shark and Scalefis h
            Fishery, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, and Northern Prawn Fishery
         The package offers $150 million for a one -off structural adjustment assistance, plus
            $70 million in complementary assistance for on -shore businesses impacted by the
            changes
         Funds provided under the package will be expended in 4 areas:
            o Fishing concession buybacks (Commonwealth only) bas ed on voluntary
                 competitive tendering
            o Onshore and related assistance including grants to businesses and fishers
            o Fishing community grants
            o AFMA levy subsidies




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           In the E TBF, AFMA will reduce the TAE from the current 13.5 million hooks, to 7
            million hooks in the AFZ, with an additional 2.5 million hooks allowed for effort
            beyond the EE Z. Allowable swordfish catch will also be reduced.
           Details of the package are still being developed, with the complete offer released in
            late January 2006.

3. Recap of Issue s identified on 31 August 2005 (tabled)
The issues were briefly reviewed by the Working Group:
        a) Sharing basis to be spatial and temporal separation incorporating percent of access
           to resource. Key question is how best to optimise for Australia, for shelf waters and
           for high yield wat ers.
           o The Working Group confirmed that cost effective spatial and temporal
                exclusivity to wat ers was an effective tool to achieve resource sharing
                outcomes. This would include specific quantifiable shares (i.e. mortality and
                CPUE ) of the resource by species to be defined.
        b) Impact on users and user subsets, of resource sharing decisions
           o A recent meeting of the rec reational sector (20 Nov) at Watson’s Bay (minutes
                attached) confirmed the lack of awareness of resource sharing issues and
                progress regarding E TBF discussions among many recreational fishers. It was
                agreed the facilitator would undertake additional consultation with the
                recreational sector, to be agreed. John Diplock / Bill Heaton to advi se li st
                of contacts.
        c) Recognition of hotspot concept
           o A number of hotspots had been identified by both commercial and recreational
                sectors and these were being m apped and catch and effort data collated.
                GFAA advis ed that the restructure may change the dy namics of fishery effort
                such that hotspots are no longer required.
        d) Basis for allocations to include mortality and fish interactions
        e) Bait – not in existing terms of reference.
           o Two components of this longliner bait issue were identified – access to bait
                inshore using lift nets and small purse seine nets, and LL use of live bait is
                claimed to preferentially target striped marlin. Tony Forster noted that live bait
                produced up to 5 times the yield, but across all species, not just STM. DAFF
                confirmed this issue was outside the Terms of Reference for the Facilitator and
                Working Groups as bait species were not primary species in the ETBF and
                would be handled under OCS arrangements. Confirmation of existing effort for
                all users. 10 data sets identified:
           o AFMA - ETBF logbook data received for 5 years longline effort (2000-2004.
                Confidentiality agreements signed by representatives from both sectors and
                returned to AFMA.
           o NSW Game Fish Tagging Program – have BRS received from John Diplock /
                David Makin.
           o NSW Game Fish Tournament Monitoring Program – June 2002 publication
                received from NSW fisheries
           o NSW Charter Boat database
           o NSW Trailer Boat Survey – to come from John Diplock
           o Qld Chart er logbook data received from Qld Fisheries
           o Tasmanian Charter Boat database – Howell Williams to provide in Dec 2005
           o Julian Pepperell dat a on landed gamefish. Data not currently in a single
                database - Julian suggested project should be implemented. Application to
                fund this project has been submitted to DA FF under the Recreational Fishing
                Community Grants Program– Julian to provide as available.
           o National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey – latest edition July 2003
           o Laurie West Research undertaken in 2000 – Peter Ward to access
        f) There are differing management objectives for the commercial and recreational
           sectors (eg the mortality argument)
        g) Definitions of “value” to all users and currency for translation to common base
        h) Independent critique of Ernst & Young study and ABARE study
           o DAFF confirmed that an in-house response had been developed by ABARE
                and BRS. Liz Foster would arrange for a Departmental response to be



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                  released to the Working Group. Noted that this would still not constitute a
                  fully independent critique of the two studies.
         i)   Recognition of agency needs – consult ation between DAFF and States especially
              consideration of legal issues regarding State management in Commonwealt h
              waters.
              o DAFF proposed the Commonwealth work more closely wit h state agencies to
                  collectively address issues related to resource sharing across multiple
                  constituencies and the responsibilities of states for managing social and
                  economic outcomes. DAFF to action with relevant governments to address
                  these i ssues indep endent of the Working Group.

4. Review of Notes from Informal meeting 2 November 2005 in Bri sbane (tabled)
The Chair noted that some confusion had arisen regarding the nature of this informal meeting,
convened by repres entatives from bot h sectors to discuss approaches to resource sharing and
potential ways forward. The facilitator was invited to attend as an independent observer.
Matters discussed included:
          Development of a table to confirm biomass ESD, effort and catch, and share data
            for both recreational and commercial fishers across key species. Subsequent
            advic e from BRS/DAFF confirms the biomass data is not available to complete this
            table. Further, the recent E TBF effort restructure initiative announced by DAFF
            means that resolution of final share data will be subject to the industry response to
            the restructure package. For example it is not possible to det ermine the level of LL
            effort buy back from eac h part of the commercial fishery.
          Spatial and temporal exclusions were sketched out for key port s and selected
            isobath water depths in the fishery south of the GBRMP down to the Victorian
            Border. Thes e exclusions were based on assumptions regarding the timing of game
            fishing tournaments and general stakeholder access requirements. A subsequent
            review of this arrangement undertaken by BRS/ DAFF and the facilitator confirmed
            the extreme complexity (and therefore cost) of managing this approach for all
            parties. A single line isobath approach would be more acceptable.

5. New ESD Principles
Tony Forster tabled recently releas ed revised principles for ESD in Commonwealth Fisheries.
Under the new arrangements greater emphasis is given to social and economic management.
Liz Foster will arrange for the new principles and policy paper on the economic effici ency
objective to be circulated to the Working Group.

6.   Negotiation Positions for Fi shery Users
        Commercial
        Gary Heilmann and Tony Forster confirmed the commercial fishers’ position regarding
        resource sharing:
         General acceptance of spatial closure for recreational fisher exclusivity
         Need agreement regarding the levels of access for bot h sectors to be included in
             documented management arrangements
         Basis of access to be on both mortality and catch per unit effort
         DAFF restructure package is welcomed by the c ommercial sector as a positive
             initiative for both sectors. Estimate that the number of pelagic longliners could fall
             to 60 across the E TBF with the number of AFZ hooks set at 7 million. Recreational
             effort is in addition to this level of commercial effo rt.
         Preferred option is a total exclusion of pelagic longliners from E TBF waters wit hin
             the 200m isobath. This would not be extended by port bubbles for temporal
             exclusion.
        Recreational – GFAA, Qld Charter Boat Fleet
        Grahame Williams confirmed the position for his recreational fishing constituency, which
        is the GFAA and Qld Charter Boat Fleet:
         Spatial and temporal exclusion of pelagic longliners to be primary resource sharing
             tool.
         Striped marlin, blue marlin, black marlin and yellowfin tuna are the key species of
             most interest to the GFAA and Qld Charter Boat fishers.
         Striped marlin to continue as a shared recreational and commercial species



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            Pelagic longliners to be allowed to operate in the E TBF outside certain exclusions
            Uncertain as to the impact of the Restructure Package, but suspects spatial
             closures will be easier to ac hieve as there will be less effort in the fishery
         Preferred option is a total exclusion of pelagic longliners from E TBF waters wit hin
             the 1000m isobath.
        Recreational – AFTA, ACORF, RFA
        Bill Heaton and John Diplock confirmed the position for the recreational fishing
        constituency:
         Long term ban on longlining in the E TBF
         All billfish to be recreational only species – includes blue marlin, black marlin,
             striped marlin, broadbill swordfish, spearfish and sailfish
         Ban on commercial longliners taking inshore bait fish
         When the government re-allocates res ourc es from one sector to another fair
             compens ation should be paid
         Preferred option is a total exclusion of pelagic longliners from E TBF waters wit hin
             the 2000m isobath.

It is noted that John Diplock represents the State agencies on the Technical Working Group.

The Chair noted that the NSW Charter Boat Fishers and Australian National Sportsfishing
Association were not represent ed, but possibly represented by Rec fish. The Chair will follow
up with Bill Heaton and John Diplock regarding representation of their views.

7. Presentations
Peter Ward pres ented:
         a brief snapshot of AFMA data received to date. More recreational data is to be
           received and further collation and analysis is to be undertaken.
         a brief overview of the sea surface maps - in proc ess
         a brief overview of live bait mapping based on AFMA logbook dat a – in process
The Chair contributed:
         additional analysis by commercial species, by depth by season for the AFMA 2000 -
           04 dat a. Further analyses is required to incorporate the catch >4000m and to
           estimate the value of catches for each zone. Gary Heilmann advised that
           acceptable average wholesale values for key species over the period 2 000-2004
           would be YFT-$10/kg; BET-$15/kg; ALT-$2/kg; BBS-$8/kg; STM summer (Oct-Feb)
           - $5/kg; STM winter - $15/kg.
Tony Forster presented:
         brief sea surface temperate maps and data on live bait usage
Rob Campbell presented:
         brief analysis of commercial catch by location and species
         commercial and recreational catch to be overlaid with sea surface maps to assess
           impact of likely spatial closures.
         Chair to talk with John Gunn re SB T closures and impact of potential 40% reduction
           in SBT quota in 2007. There are significant potential impacts for commercials in
           ETBF.
Julian Pepperell pointed out:
         the big data gap in the non club, non tagging recreational fishers. It was agreed
           that a study would beneficial but may not be undertak en in time to assist this first
           agreement on resource sharing. Julian commented on an earlier survey of east
           coast game fishing which indicated that the non club component of the fishery was
           about 50% for those targeting billfish and about 67% for those targeting other
           gamefish including tunas. That survey was done in the early 1990s so more up to
           date information would be important.
        
Grahame Williams noted:
         The WCPFC (Western Central Pacific Fishing Commission) was to report in 2006
           on a stock assessment of the S TM and BBS. A recently released paper noted
           there was a recommended reduction in effort of 18% for YFT and BE T. The Chair
           will source relevant papers from www. wcpfc.com




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          Australia’s international obligations regarding the exploitation of natural resources
           that preclude the ban of commercial LL take in the AFZ – a recreational catch to the
           volume of LL take is unrealistic and would open the fishery to international
           exploitation
Working Group agreed that:
        analysis be based on water depth isobaths – 200m, 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 2000m,
           4000m.
        monthly analysis is better than seasonal analysis.
        Chair to refer to the rec ent byproduct report commissioned by FRDC regarding
           latest data on secondary species.

8.   Other Issue s
         The E TBF can be assessed in 4 zones for resource sharing purposes:
             o Area E in the far nort h - the facilitator is to have further discussions with both
                  sectors in the next week regarding existing arrangements and options
             o Bottom of the GB RMP down to Port Stephens (30nm north) – vessels in this
                  area are typically of greater capacity and fish in deeper waters
             o Port Stephens (30nm north) to Victorian border – vessels are typically smaller
                  and fish inshore. Area includes the impact of the SB T exclusion zone which
                  has a direct economic impact on longliners in this area.
             o Victorian Border to South Australian Border (including Tasmanian waters) –
                  limited longline and charter activity
         DAFF and states to progress di scussi on of the bait i ssue through OCS
             arrangements. It is desirable to have a uniform approach to bait access across the
             ETBF. NSW Fisheries has <30 active bait licences operating under Sec 37 of its
             act.
         Recreational effort has potential to increase as urban pressure rises. Effort will be
             driven by increasing numbers of fis hers (currently not capped) and the allowed
             catch per fisher. NSW is currently reducing bag limits on key species. GFAA catch
             and release policies and arrangements are the same Australian wide. Bag limits do
             differ in other States therefore the Chair needs to clarify those. Technology creep
             will also continue to increase the efficiency of recreational effort. Agreed that DAFF
             and states need to agree principles, procedures and tools to manage recreational
             effort as it relates to resource sharing arrangements in the long-term.
         AFMA require closures to be defined by lat and long coordinates, not isobaths.
         Exclusion lines on the water will relate to specific species
         Resource sharing agreement would apply for a 5 year term to coincide with the
             review of AFMA management arrangements
         NSW use of circle hooks with live bait in tournaments to reduce mortalities. This is
             not a NSW Government issue. The NSWGFA with approval from GFAA has taken
             the initiative of int roducing circle hooks for live baiting in the 2006 Interclub
             Tournament as a trial to see if it will reduce released fish mortality for Marlins and
             Tuna.
         Long line drift issue can be managed through a warning system and notifications of
             breach through AFMA.


Tony Forster requested that bait access in Marine Protected Areas be placed on the agenda for
next meeting

Meeting Closed 3pm.




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