Who is SETFIA?

About the fishery

What is the South East Trawl Fishery?

The South East Trawl Fishery is technically known as the Commonwealth Trawl Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF). It stretches from Barrenjoey Point (north of Sydney) southwards around Tasmania to Cape Jervis in South Australia, where it abuts the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector. To the north, the South East Trawl adjoins the East Coast Deepwater Trawl Sector.

SETF catches have declined over time as closures and marine parks were put in place and fluctuate depending on seasonal catches but are around 10,000-15,000 tonnes per annum. Blue Grenadier, Flathead, Pink Ling, School Whiting, and Orange Roughy are some of the main species caught.

There are two fishing methods used within the South East Trawl; Danish Seining and otterboard trawling. There are 36 trawl permits (trawl boats) in the fishery. The fleet uses many ports including Sydney, Wollongong, Ulladulla, Bermagui, Eden, Lakes Entrance, Port Welshpool, Melbourne, Hobart and Portland.

The fishery has more than 30 stocks that are managed under quotas (also known as total allowable catches or “TACs”). These TACs are based on sustainable catch levels set under the framework of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy. Assessments are completed by researchers operating under contract to AFMA. The AFMA Commission makes decisions about managing the SETF in line with the Fisheries Management Act 1991 after taking advice from two Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs) and the South East Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC) which are composed of fisheries scientists, assessment scientists, Government Agencies, recreational fishing and conservation representatives commercial fishing industry representatives (including SETFIA) who make differentiated recommendations and give advice regarding stock status, harvest strategies, recommended biological catches (RBCs) and management arrangements.