Workshop to identify research needs and a future project to reduce bycatch and improve fuel efficiency via Low Impact Fuel Efficient (LIFE) prawn trawls
IC Independent Consulting Pty Ltd
Steve J. Kennelly
Issues of bycatch and fuel efficiency are now becoming uppermost in the concerns of many stakeholders. These include: the industry itself (which wishes to reduce running costs and discard handling), environmental groups (who are concerned about ecosystem disturbance and energy use), eco-labelling agencies (whose requirements often focus on bycatch and habitat impacts), and the general public (who dictate the “social licence to operate” for such fisheries). These issues have therefore attracted the attention of many governments as well as international agencies like the FAO who first coined the term Low Impact Fuel Efficient gears (LIFE) for methods that reduce bycatch whilst improving fuel efficiency. However, there have been only a few studies that address these issues. And one of the centres where this work has occurred is the NSW Conservation Technology Unit. In recent years, Dr Broadhurst from this group applied for FRDC funds to enhance LIFE research by focussing on the prawn fisheries in Australia. And his most recent application led to the need for this current application to hold a workshop of the relevant prawn fisheries in Australia to develop the foci, objectives and way-forward for this important research.
1. Organise and plan a workshop of key stakeholders in Australia’s prawn-trawl fisheries whose goal is to ameliorate bycatch issues and improve fuel efficiency by developing Low Impact Fuel Efficient (LIFE) gears for those fisheries
2. Hold the above workshop over 2 days in Sydney; and
3. Prepare and finalise a report outlining the conduct and results of the workshop and the staged approach recommended for ongoing research.
Principle Investigator: Steve Kennelly
Key words: bycatch, fuel efficiency, prawn, trawl, LIFE