Department of Fisheries WA

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Our Ref: 579/02-08

Mr Ian Thompson
Executive Manager, Sustainable Resource Management Division
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
GPO Box 858
CANBERRA  ACT  2601

Dear Mr Thomson

RE: Shark Plan 2 – Request for comment

Thank you for your letter of 12 May 2011 regarding the release of Australia’s draft 2011 National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (Shark-plan 2). The Department of Fisheries WA (the Department) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft and express its views on the conservation and management of sharks during the term of the forthcoming plan.

The Department has a longstanding commitment to ensuring the sustainable use of Western Australian shark resources and has demonstrably managed their exploitation in accordance with the principles of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks 1999). The Department has been actively involved in the development, implementation, review and revision of Australia’s first National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (Shark–plan 1).

While the issues and actions identified in Shark-plan 2 are generally appropriate there is a lack of detail regarding how implementation and monitoring will be conducted.  Furthermore, the Department recommends that the Commonwealth Government develop a critical evaluation framework, so it will be able to monitor the performance of agencies, stakeholders and the effectiveness of the management actions.

The Department believes it appropriate that the Commonwealth Government reviews resourcing arrangements for Shark-plan 2. The Department’s shark management and research resources are fully committed to existing fisheries management priorities and it is unclear what level of re-prioritisation can be achieved to meet the reporting and evaluation requirements of Shark-plan 2. If additional resources were available the Department believes the progression of the actions would be more achievable.

The Department endorses the consolidated nation wide approach to the management and conservation of shark resources across Australia and fully supports the instigation of the management actions identified in Shark-plan 2. The Department will continue to play its role in improving management and conservation of sharks in Western Australia during the life of Shark-plan 2.

If you wish to discuss any aspects of the Department’s position on this matter or require further clarification on the information above, please contact Lindsay Joll - General Manager, Aquatic Management Branch on (08) 9482 7319.

Yours sincerely

[signed]

Kevin Donohue
Director Aquatic Management

14 July 2011