Project number: 2007-039
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $89,000.00
Principal Investigator: Ian C. Leck
Organisation: Boatswain's Locker
Project start/end date: 29 Jun 2007 - 30 Dec 2008


The Australian Government's directive and AFMA's response, indicate there is an urgent need to further reduce bycatch in trawl catches in the SESSF. The economic ramifications could be considerable if industry are forced to retain smaller sized quota species. It is unlikey the price obtained for the smaller fish would adequately compensate the costs in retaining it.

Anecdotally, it appears the Network TN net has been able to reduce bycatch and has received strong endorsement from a range of fishers who are currently using the net (Appendix 1). Most have noted a substantial reduction in their bycatch especially in smaller fish. However to add credence in convincing other fishers of the advantages of this net there needs to be a qualified scientific study and sea trials conducted, to test whether catches towing with the NetworkTN net are siginificantly different from catches towed with a the current nets used by industry.


1. Conduct a workshop to discuss the NetworkTN net and select a vessel to conduct sea trials
2. Carry out trials at sea to gauge the effectiveness of the NetworkTN net in reducing bycatch of undersize quota and non quota species.
3. Develop an extension strategy to ensure background and progress of project are adequately communicated to Industry, AFMA and the wider community

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9805388-7-8
Author: Ian Leck

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