Expert advice in the form of the Barramundi Fishery Management Advisory Committee (BFMAC) is once again available as the Territory Government reviews the Fishery. 

The BFMAC has been re-established to review how the Fishery resources are managed, establish a management framework that includes developing long term goals, a Harvest Strategy with a research and monitoring plan, an allocation of the Fishery resources and a compliance plan.

The Committee lapsed when memberships expired in 2017, but after being re-established, members had their first meeting last month. 

Members have been appointed on the committee for 3 years. They are responsible for providing the Territory Government with advice on contemporary management practices for barramundi based on their expertise in the recreational, commercial, aquaculture and fishing tourism industries, as well as environmental and Aboriginal traditional knowledge.  

The 10 committee members will provide expertise from a range of industries and backgrounds and include: 

  • Mr Ian Cartwright – Independent Chair
  • Mr Geoff Diver – commercial fishing member
  • Mr David Ciaravolo – recreational fishing member
  • Mr Dennis Sten – fishing tourism member
  • Dr Peter Kyne and Dr Rachel Groom – conservation / scientific members
  • Mr Peter Pender; Mr Murray Knyvett and Mr Ross McDonald – Aboriginal traditional fishery members
  • Ms Tarun Richards – aquaculture industry member. 

This review and development of a management framework were part of the Blue Mud Bay Implementation Action Plan which was signed last year. 

The Committee was chosen after a direct approach to all key stakeholders in the Fishery. 

Quotes from Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Executive Director Fisheries, Ian Curnow
“Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon are prized commodities in the Territory. 

“Our Aboriginal communities and commercial fishing operators reflect this, and our tourism and recreational fishing sectors and scientific community recognise the importance of these fish species to our region. 

“After staying virtually unchanged for the past three decades, it’s high time that a review was carried out to update the management of barramundi and threadfin salmon in the Territory to reflect best practice. This committee will review how these stocks are managed in the Territory and identify what the Territory community wants from our Barramundi and King Threadfin fishery before establishing a management framework and developing a Harvest Strategy.

“I’d like to congratulate all the committee members on their appointment as we begin this exciting modernisation process.”  

Quotes from Barramundi Fishery Management Advisory Committee Independent Chair, Mr Ian Cartwright
“Barramundi are an iconic Australian species, forming the basis of a shared fishery that maintains significant interest from its key stakeholders – commercial, recreational, fishing tourism, Aboriginal communities and non-government organisations. It is a valuable social, cultural and economic contributor to the Territory community.

“The establishment of the Barramundi Fishery Management Advisory Committee (BFMAC) will provide a process for consultation, communication and representation for all key stakeholders groups. This will allow for timely stakeholder input into the development and implementation of the management arrangements for this fishery that will be vital to its long-term sustainability.

“The Barramundi fishery will be subject to a comprehensive review, leading to the development of an effective management framework that will include a contemporary harvest strategy. The BFMAC will play a key role in the development of this framework, which will ensure the Barramundi Fishery continues to be a sustainable, socially, culturally and economically viable fishery that is accepted by the community.

“I am looking forward to working with all appointed BFMAC members in a transparent and effective forum that will provide the very best fisheries management advice to the NT Fisheries Division and the Minister.”