AUSTRALIA - A new guide for developing new seabird mitigation devices in trawl fisheries has been released by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.
The Guide to Developing New Seabird Mitigation Devices in Trawl Fisheries aims to make it easier for trawl operators to trial new seabird mitigation devices to reduce seabird interactions and improve operational efficiencies and crew safety.
All otter board trawlers operating in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) have a Seabird Management Plan (SMP).
Each vessel’s SMP lists the AFMA approved seabird mitigation measures for that vessel, including the compulsory use of 600mm warp deflectors, known as pinkies.
In response to growing interest from fishers to continually improve seabird mitigation devices AFMA has published a step-by-step guide for fishers for trialling devices. The guide outlines the necessary steps for a new mitigation device to be approved for use by AFMA.
A number of new seabird mitigation devices are currently undergoing at sea trials, including a bird baffler device and water jet sprayer booms. Early results of the trails are promising.
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TheFishSite News Desk