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Abstract

Australia recently introduced a revised 'economic' objective to its Fisheries Management Act that has given greater focus to the economic performance of Australian fisheries management. Specifically, the objective requires the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to pursue maximising net economic returns to the Australian community from Commonwealth fishery resources when making fishery management decisions. The technical challenge is how to measure AFMA's performance in pursuing this objective. Separation of all other factors that influence fishing industry returns from decisions made by AFMA is the first step. Alternative economic analyses to achieving this are considered. The policy challenge is to gain industry acceptance that AFMA has a role in managing for both biological and economic sustainability that can benefit the industry and the Australian public. The role and views of AFMA, its Management Advisory Committees (MACs), Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs) and industry associations in this process are explored. Two fisheries are discussed as examples of applying fishery economic performance measures, the Northern Prawn Fishery and the Albacore Fishery adjacent to the east coast of Australia.

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