State and Commonwealth fisheries management agencies are accountable for achieving efficient and effective compliance outcomes. In 1999 the National Fisheries Compliance Committee (NFCC) identified risk assessment as a vital component of fisheries compliance programs through the publication of the Strategic Direction for Australian Fisheries Compliance and Framework for Fisheries Agencies paper.
The need to develop comprehensive and practical assessment procedures has increased in recent years to meet auditing requirements and reporting needs to stakeholders. The Governance component of ESD principles when applied to fisheries will necessitate demonstration of the ability to achieve best practice compliance to achieve the requirements of management plans..
Some agencies have commenced the development of risk assessment procedures, however they have not been developed uniformly. Other agencies are yet to develop procedures. The development and national application of uniform procedures will assist the achievement of best practice and provide fisheries compliance practitioners with the data to answer stakeholder queries regarding risks associated with key issues such as cost, efficiency, effectiveness, changes in practice, emerging trends, technology influences and cross jurisdictional impacts.