Resource sharing

Resource sharing describes arrangements that give different users, such as commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers, shared access to fisheries resources.

More information on managing Australian fisheries is available on the department’s website.

Commonwealth fisheries resources are shared among recreational, commercial and Indigenous fishers.

There are several trophy species that are only available to recreational fishers. In 1997 the Commonwealth Fisheries Management Act 1991 was amended to ban the commercial targeting of black and blue marlin. In January 2007, longtail tuna became a recreational only species with strict limits placed on the commercial harvest of longtail tuna by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

From time to time, there have been calls for formal arrangements to be developed for various stocks or for different fisheries and the government has, in the past, sought to develop such arrangements in its tuna and billfish fisheries. Resource sharing arrangements could potentially clarify the relative shares of fisheries resources available to different user groups, management targets for particular stocks (should these differ from those specified in the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines), how the costs of management are to be shared among user groups, data requirements and other matters such as any spatial or temporal management arrangements that might apply differently to the various user groups.

The issue of resource sharing was frequently raised in submissions to the 2012 review of Commonwealth Fisheries: Legislation, Policy and Management. The review report noted that where applicable, resource sharing issues between recreational and commercial fishers should be addressed in fisheries management plans and that the final resolution for resource sharing may be a matter for the government to resolve between commercial and/or recreational interests.