According to AFMA Commission this is the first time all major species in the fishery will be subject to direct catch limits. The catch limits will apply to five fish species; albacore tuna, bigeye tuna, broadbill swordfish, striped marlin, and yellowfin tuna. Michael Egan, AFMA Commission Chairman said that the agreed limits are consistent with the AFMA Commission’s legislative requirements and the best available scientific advice.
AFMA took advice from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and independent scientists before making this decision. Even the Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee (TTMAC) also advised on the issue which includes experts from environment, conservation, State government, recreational and charter fishing, and commercial fishing sectors.
Egan informed that the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for each of the species for the 2011 season is; Albacore tuna 2500 tonnes,; Bigeye tuna 1056 tonnes,; Broadbill swordfish 1550 tonnes, ; Striped marlin 390 tonnes, and Yellowfin tuna 2200 tonnes. He added that the ETBF is a small part of the much larger Western and Central Pacific Fishery which is governed by an international body, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).