Project number: 2020-049
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $60,000.00
Principal Investigator: Roger J. Kirkwood
Organisation: University of Adelaide
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2020 - 16 Dec 2020


To meet community expectations, address legislative obligations and fulfil specifications of the Wildlife CoP, the SASF needs to take all reasonable steps to prevent interactions with dolphins.

A comprehensive review of methods used to mitigate interactions with dolphins in purse-seine fisheries worldwide needs to be conducted to ensure that future strategies developed for the SASF are consistent with world's best practice. The review is critical because demonstrating that strategies for mitigating interactions with dolpins are consistent with world's best practice is a specific requirement of the Commonwealth Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

A structured data collection program needs to be established to obtain robust scientific information from industry trials of acoustic deterrants coducted in 2020. This analysis is needed to identify devices that may work and could tests in experimental trails.


1. Undertake a comprehensive literature review of methods used to monitor and mitigate interactions between small pelagic fisheries and dolphins
2. Analyse data from industry trials to identify acoustic devices and deployment strategies that mitigate interactions with dolphins

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-876007-44-7
Authors: Tim M. Ward India Attwood-Henderson and Roger Kirkwood
Final Report • 616.96 KB


This review compares approaches taken to monitor and mitigate common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) interactions with the South Australian Sardine Fishery (SASF) with those taken for protected species interactions with other fisheries for small pelagic species, including Australia’s Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). The review informs ongoing refinement of approaches in the SASF to reduce encirclement and mortality rates of Common Dolphins and supports the SASF’s commitment to a “continuous process of review and improvement”. Ongoing refinement is a key element of the fishery’s Code of Practice (CoP) for mitigating interactions with wildlife (SASIA 2021).


This study was also needed to ensure that approaches taken in the SASF are “reviewed with consideration to international standards for mitigating interactions with marine mammals” (Commonwealth of Australia 2016), which is a requirement of the accreditation of the management regime for the SASF under Part 13 of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

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