The purposes of this project are:
To design and implement a national bycatch report system, facilitated by the FRDC, that meets the current and foreseeable medium term future needs of all Australian fisheries management agencies, including for reporting within jurisdictions and internationally.
- To ensure that this report system is initially feasible using available information, but that it is also scalable to be able to
Over the past decade, increasing awareness or international efforts on the need for protection of certain vulnerable species groups, such as seabirds, marine mammals and turtles, has already resulted in numerous plans of action, fisheries management plans, increased monitoring and development of mitigation measures to reduce impacts on these species. This project would pull together the reporting requirements under all of these individual initiatives to provide guidance on reporting across all Australian fisheries.
There are existing Australian requirements for bycatch and protected species interaction reporting driven by environmental legislation, such as the reporting requirements for species listed or nominated for listing, or requiring export approval, under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. The emphasis on requirements for improved reporting of bycatch and discards under policies such as the revised Commonwealth Bycatch Policy (DAWR 2017), and increased government and public expectation for improved reporting on broader aspects of fisheries environmental responsibility, has increased the need for regular reporting on bycatch.
Most regional fisheries management organisations, including those of which Australia is a member or cooperating party (the Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna - CCSBT, the West and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission - WCPFC, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation - SPRFMO and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission - IOTC) have requirements to mitigate risks to specified protected species groups, and to report on interactions with such species. Increasingly, other governments (such as the United States and European Union) are also requiring fish imports to meet requirements relating to risk reduction for bycatch and protected species.