Annual Report 1989 Northern Territory Joint Fisheries Authority
Tabled Paper 1529
Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
8. CONDITION OF THE FISHERY Biological data on the pearl oyster stocks of this fishery are limited. Historical records suggest that a conservative approach to exploitation is necessary until a greater understanding is achieved about the distribution of the resource and its annual recruitment processes. During the first licensing year ending 30 June 1989, approximately 80 per cent of the total allowable catch (TAC) was taken, mostly from grounds near Flat Top Banks and Forty Mile Banks near the western limit of Northern Territory waters. During the six months to 31 December 1989, approximately 50 per cent of the TAC for the second year was taken. The proportion of oysters taken live for culture purposes during the second year has exceeded 40 per cent. 9. TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH The current TAC has been set taking into consideration the need for more detailed scientific advice on the abundance of the resource. For the licensing year ending 30 June 1989, the TAC was set at 120,000 shells, divided equally amongst the six licensees. In June 1989 the Joint Authority decided that the same TAC would apply for the licensing year ending 30 June 1990. A 2.000 per annum broodstock allocation will be held in abeyance until a pearl supply and demand study has been completed. 10. RESOURCE SURVEY A resource survey to delineate areas of occurrence of pearl oysters has formed part of the Northern Territory Pearl Industry Development Plan since its inception. The field component of the survey was completed during 1989 but analysis of the data was still in progress as at 31 December. The survey, conducted by the Commonwealth Bureau of Rural Resources, was funded 50:50 by the licensees and the Fisheries Development Trust Account. 11. MONITORING Pending introduction of a system of monitoring which will mirror a new system proposed for the Western Australian pearling industry, procedures are in place which include a requirement on operators to complete logbooks and to submit shell for inspection in port. 12. FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS Financial arrangements relating to the resource survey were as set out above, with a $75,000 contribution divided equally between the six licencees. In accordance with a 1988 decision of the Joint Authority, there is provision for charges and cost recovery to be levied on licensees in respect of individual quota holdings exceeding 10.000 shells. However, only licence and vessel registration fees have been collected.
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