The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery extends from Cape York in Queensland to the South Australian/Victorian border.
Fishing occurs in both the Australian Fishing Zone and adjacent high seas.
The fishery is managed by limiting the catch of tuna and billfish species, restricting how many boats can fish and regulating what gear they can use.
The species targeted by commercial fishers in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery are:
- Albacore tuna (Thunnus alulunga)
- Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)
- Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
- Broadbill swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
- Striped marlin (Tetrapturus audux)
Tuna and billfish caught in this fishery are highly migratory and swim over large distances and between different countries.
To access this fishery, fishers need to hold statutory fishing rights allocated by AFMA.
Data about the catch and effort of the fishery is collected from the logbooks fishers have to fill out for every longline fishing shot. Logbooks record:
- the species and amount caught
- the catch that is discarded
- the catch/release of any protected species and their life status
- the time and location of fishing activities
- the type and amount of gear used.
Species sustainability is assessed every three years by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission scientific committee with contributions from Australian scientists from ABARES and CSIRO.
For further information on the fishery go to http://www.afma.gov.au/fisheries/eastern-tuna-and-billfish-fishery-page