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Australia National Report







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    Australia National Report 2013
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    NATIONAL FISHERY REPORT 2003 - AUSTRALIA 2013
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    National Report – Australia 2013
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    Pelagic longline and purse seine are the two main fishing methods used by Australian vessels to target tu and billfish in the Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC) Area of Competence. In 2012, three Australian longliners from the Western Tu and Billfish Fishery and one longliner from the Eastern Tu and Billfish Fishery operated in the IOTC Area of Competence. They caught 13.1 t of albacore (Thunnus alalunga), 167.4 t of bigeye tu (Thunnus obesus), 23.0 t of yellowfin tu (Thunnus albacares), 209.3 t of swordfish (Xiphius gladius) and 2.5 t of striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax). These catches represent approximately 13 per cent of the peak catches taken by Australian vessels fishing in the IOTC Area of Competence in 2001, for these five species combined. In addition, Australian vessels using minor line methods took a small amount of catch. The number of active longliners and levels of fishing effort have declined substantially in recent years due to reduced profitability, primarily as a resu lt of lower fish prices and higher operating costs. The catch of southern bluefin tu (Thunnus maccoyii) in the purse seine fishery was 4503 t in 2012. A small amount of skipjack tu (Katsuwonus pelamis) was caught by purse seine fishing in 2012 (0.2 t). In 2012, less than 1 t of shark was landed by the Australian longline fleet operating in the IOTC Area of Competence and 11 371 sharks were discarded/released. In 2012, 17.8 per cent of all hooks set in WTBF longline operations were observed over three trips in the IOTC Area of Competence.

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