Vessel Tracking Review - Engagement Portal

Project overview

The Vessel tracking decision post implementation impact analysis statement is now complete.

Please note: The vessel tracking post implementation impact analysis statement (PI-IAS) was formerly referred to as the vessel tracking post-implementation review.

Download the full report and summary of the vessel tracking PI-IAS from the document library on this page.

Summary of final recommendations

The PI-IAS considers the impacts of the vessel tracking regulation since it was introduced and any recommendations for the regulation looking forward. The purpose of the PI-IAS is to assess the impacts (both positive and negative), effectiveness and continued relevance of the vessel tracking regulation, and consider any unintended consequences since its implementation.

The review concluded that the overall net benefit supports the continuation of the vessel tracking regulation and the original identified benefits of vessel tracking (in particular, enhancing compliance capabilities) have been realised.

The final recommendations stated in the PI-IAS are as follows:

  1. Retain the vessel tracking regulation.
  2. Legislation amendment to include a head of power to implement an ongoing exemption process to allow fishers to fish in the event of a malfunctioning unit or other circumstances as deemed appropriate by the Chief Executive, for example a unit is unavailable.
  3. Continue to perform market scanning of suitable units to meet the requirements of Queensland fisheries factoring technology availability and cost.
  4. Continue to implement and maintain an Information Security Management System (ISMS) based on the international standard ISO27001, including a six-monthly risk assessment and monitoring of existing data security controls in the vessel tracking system.

The department has committed to implementing these recommendations.

The recommendations and learnings from the vessel tracking decision PI-IAS will be valuable when considering independent data validation (IDV) implementation.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the PI-IAS process, please refer to the Queensland Government guide to better regulations policy.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has been using vessel tracking since 1996 as part of ongoing management of several fisheries within Queensland, including the east coast trawl fleet, sea cucumber (beche-de-mer) fishery and some net fisheries. An action under the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy: 2017–2027, vessel tracking was rolled out more broadly to all major commercial fisheries during 2019 and 2020. Vessel tracking technology helps enhance compliance capabilities, provide data for more informed and responsive management, and ensure the sustainability of Queensland’s fisheries – which will benefit the marine resources that many operators and regional communities depend upon.

DAF committed to commissioning a regulatory post implementation impact analysis statement (PI-IAS), formerly referred to as the post-implementation review, of vessel tracking following the recommendations of the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee’s examination of the Fisheries (Sustainable Fisheries Strategy) Amendment Bill 2018. The purpose of a regulatory PI-IAS is to assess the impacts, effectiveness and continued relevance of the vessel tracking regulation in accordance with The Queensland Government guide to better regulations policy.

Since implementation, industry has raised several issues, primarily relating to delays in the delivery of vessel tracking units, refunds and warranty claims, as well as concerns about installation costs, safety, data security and suitability and installation of units. Throughout the implementation of vessel tracking, these issues were investigated and have been, or are being, progressively addressed. Following numerous complaints from commercial fishers in 2019, an investigation into the implementation and administration of vessel tracking in Queensland was undertaken by the Queensland Ombudsman. In response to this review, the department committed to expanding the planned regulatory PI-IAS to address the Ombudsman’s preliminary observations.

A vessel tracking working group comprising commercial fishing industry representatives and the DAF senior leadership team was established and met six times in 2021 to discuss vessel tracking issues and provide feedback as part of the review.

Key documents, including a copy of the Queensland Ombudsman's preliminary observations and proposed actions, the vessel tracking consultation PIR report and other relevant information is available in the document library on the right. There is also a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and links to useful resources.

The PI-IAS was completed in November 2023.