There is a need to assess how bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) are likely to affect the weight and composition of bycatch in the Queensland east coast trawl fishery (QECTF). Mandatory use of the devices has been recently implemented in some sectors and further measures are proposed.
There is a need to estimate and compare the weight and composition of bycatch with- and without-BRDs to assess recent and ongoing bycatch reduction initiatives that have been legislated in the Queensland Trawl Fishery Management Plan. Deploying observers or researchers appears to be the only robust approach for undertaking these comparisons.
Current estimates of the weight and composition of bycatch from the fishery operating without-BRDs are unknown for most sectors of the QECTF. These will have to be derived in order to facilitate any comparisons with estimates obtained when the fishery is operating with-BRDs.
There is also a need for the QECTF to consider the Criteria for Assessing Sustainability of Commercial Fisheries under the Wildlife Protection Act 1984 and the project makes some headway towards addressing these criteria.