Torres Strait Prawn Fishery Season Opens Early

3 February 2016, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Torres Strait Prawn Fishery (TSPF) reopened early on 1 February 2016.

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) decided to lengthen the fishing season annually by one month at its meeting on 5 August 2015.

PZJA is responsible for management of commercial and traditional fishing in the Australian area of the Torres Strait Protected Zone.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s acting Executive Manager of Fisheries, Beth Gibson, welcomed the decision to lengthen the season.

“The TSPF is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the Torres Strait,” Mrs Gibson said.

“Opening the fishery annually in February rather than March from 2016 will provide operators with greater opportunities to fish and deliver product to the lucrative Easter market.

“Prawn stocks in the TSPF have been strong and we will continue to work with PZJA to closely monitor the sustainability of prawns in the region.”

The TSPF is a multi-species prawn fishery, which includes Endeavour, tiger and king prawn species.

All the TSPF closures–including the spawning closure protecting juvenile prawns–remain in place. Closures which referred to 1 March have changed to 1 February and will continue through to 31 July as previously detailed. This ensures the same protection and rules apply to the lengthened season.