The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has announced that, as of 1 May 2018, all South East Trawl (SET) vessels that have fished more than 50 days in either the 2016 or 2017 fishing seasons will be required to use electronic logbooks (e-logs) to report on their fishing operations. SETFIA members have resolved to support this move.
Up until now operators have had the option of using traditional paper logbooks to provide this information but as of the 2018 fishing season, they will be required to move to an eLog reporting platform through an AFMA-approved e-log program.
E-logs will allow SET fishers to report their fishing operations, including daily catch, discarded fish and protected species interaction data, in real time and allow this data to be received by AFMA in near real time, closer to actual fishing events. Accurate and timely data is essential for research and management of the SET. E-logs will also also provide real cost savings to fishers by eliminating the manual data re-entry component associated with paper logbooks and is currently estimated to cost $18 per day.
The SET has made significant progress in this direction, with more than 62% of fishing vessels already voluntarily using e-logs to provide their catch and fishing information to AFMA.
E-log software is provided by private companies and there are currently two Australian providers . To use e-logs, SET operators need to follow these steps:
1. Register on AFMA’s online portal GoFish. Anyone else that is going to submit e-logs on an Operator’s behalf, such as the Skipper or crew members, should also register on GoFish.
2. Email AFMA on email@example.com with your GoFish ID, vessel name and fishing method used.
3. Purchase an approved third party e-log software from one of the two current providers. See the AFMA website for their contact details – http://www.afma.gov.au/fisheries-services/logbooks/e-logs-information/
4. Work with your chosen software provider to set up your e-log software for reporting.
For more information on how to sign up for e-logs see: http://www.afma.gov.au/fisheries-services/logbooks/e-logs-information/
For instructions for trawl operators see: http://www.afma.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Trawling.pdf
For instructions for Danish seine operators see: http://www.afma.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Danish-seine.pdf