The proposal is administrative in nature and does not seek to change the management of commercial fisheries that harvest hammerhead sharks. The proposal is part of the transition from export approvals given effect under separate legislative instruments for separate commercial fisheries to one over-arching wildlife trade operation for hammerhead species that is consistent with Australia’s non detriment finding under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Since 14 September 2014, the scalloped hammerhead (S. lewini), great hammerhead (S. mokarran) and smooth hammerhead (S. zygaena) have been listed on Appendix II of CITES. The Australian CITES Scientific Authority in the Australian Government Department of the Environment has previously developed a national non detriment finding to ensure that Australia’s legislated CITES obligations are met. For more information please visit Non-detriment finding for five CITES Appendix II shark species.
The proposed wildlife trade operation will include the commercial harvest of hammerhead shark species by Australian commercial fishers under Part 13A of the EPBC Act while a non detriment finding remains in effect. The catch of these species is currently approved for export under existing approved wildlife trade operation declarations made under Part 13A of the EPBC Act. The current non detriment finding will be reviewed in 2017 and take into account the harvest of hammerhead sharks from Australian fisheries, the regional impact of harvesting and the progress of fisheries agencies in implementing the current recommendations to improve management of hammerhead shark species. Where available, the revision will also consider information on regional and global species management of the hammerhead sharks.
To give legislative effect to this proposal, the Department of the Environment is required to undertake a minimum 20 business day public consultation period.
Commenting on this proposal
In accordance with the provisions of sections 303FR of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on this proposal.
The call for public comments is open from 18 January 2016 until 26 February 2016.
Please submit your comments to:
Sustainable Fisheries Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Submissions may also be sent by fax to (02) 6274 2875, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any comments received will form part of the documentation provided to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment for a decision. Copies of comments may be made available to other persons with a particular interest in the application. If you wish to claim confidentiality for any part of your comments, would you please discuss the matter with the Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Section (02) 6274 1917.