Australian Tuna Fishery Praised for Protecting Seabirds

23 February 2016, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) works closely with other maritime agencies in monitoring the Australian Fishing Zone and adjacent waters, to detect and deter the illegal exploitation of natural resources by both Australian and foreign fishing vessels.

A recent surveillance flight over waters off the east coast of Australia located six Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) longline vessels, all in the process of setting their fishing gear. All six had the required seabird mitigation devices deployed.

Fishing operators are required to use seabird mitigation devices to minimise the chance of seabird interactions.

Such devices, often known as tori lines, form a physical and visual barrier around the area where line setting occurs that prevents seabirds from accessing baited hooks.

AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said that the majority of the Commonwealth’s 300+ fishing fleet followed the rules and regulations, including those that aim to minimise interactions with protected species.

“It’s commendable to see these operators doing the right thing when it comes to protecting seabirds,” Mr Venslovas said.

“Minimising interactions with protected species, like seabirds, not only makes good business sense, it also results in a sustainable fishery that’s good for the environment and good for Australian seafood consumers.

“AFMA and industry continue to work together to ensure the impacts of fishing on protected species are kept to a minimum.”