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AFMA Keeps Fishing Fees Low

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has announced its 2012-13 levies for Commonwealth fishers, with an increase of only 1.7 per cent in total levies charged compared to the previous year.

This is the result of some hard work by both AFMA and the Commonwealth fishing industry to improve cost- efficiency in managing fisheries while delivering necessary management and regulatory services.

Initiatives such as increasing use of cameras on boats instead of human observers and the increasing use of on-line business through AFMAs GoFISH portal are delivering cost savings which are being directly passed on to the fishing industry.

A revised system of calculating levies in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery has also been introduced to better reflect the user pays approach.

We allocate the costs so that fishers are charged levies based on how much they cost to manage so a fisher with their boat tied up to the wharf isnt paying as much as someone whos out fishing every day, said AFMA Executive Manager Dr Nick Rayns.

AFMA sustainably manages Commonwealth fisheries on behalf of the Australian community, with the cost of providing that management shared between the Australian Government and the fishing industry, through levies.

Each fishery is charged separately and 2012 levies include decreases from the previous year in some fisheries and increases in others, as a result of changes in management activities for each fishery.

This year the businesses that will incur the largest dollar reductions are in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and trawl fisheries in the Great Australian Bight. There are also increases in levies for the Northern Prawn Fishery and Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, due to an increase in research needs and improved stock management systems.

AFMA charges levies in installments to assist businesses to pay and offers special consideration for any operators experiencing difficulties paying their levies, including individual payment plans.