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Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are responsible for the management of Australian fisheries within their respective jurisdictions. Regulations are used to implement controls, such as limits on catch or effort levels, and regulate fishing methods in order to manage Australia's fisheries in a way that meets social and economic considerations and ecological sustainability objectives.

While Australia's fisheries are regarded as sustainable, reliable and safe, there is scope to improve the management of fisheries through effective and coordinated regulatory and management arrangements. This includes the streamlining of regulations, rationalising jurisdictional and offshore constitutional settlement arrangements through improved cross jurisdiction and multi-jurisdictional regulatory regimes, information and service sharing, and harmonisation of environmental, management and compliance arrangements.

While aquaculture is within scope, it was the subject of a Productivity Commission research paper in 2004 which examined existing planning and environmental regulatory arrangements. The Commission should use the findings of this research as a basis to inform its current inquiry rather than commencing a new investigation into issues impacting the aquaculture sector.

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