SETFIA is committed to sustainable fishing practices so members continually work to minimise their environmental impact while catching fresh fish for Australians. This work includes minimising interactions with seabirds. An interaction is any contact between the vessel and a seabird that causes injury, death or distress.
In 2014 SETFIA secured Australian Government funding to trial a number of mitigation devices, this trial showed that baffles are the best and cheapest mitigation.
Together with the Great Australian Bight Fishing Industry Association (GABIA), it called on AFMA to mandate that all vessels use one of the following three seabird mitigation strategies by May 2017:
SETFIA has secured funding to assist operators to install bafflers. After a vessel’s baffler is approved that vessel will be given $500. A baffler is considered approved after inspection by AFMA or SETFIA against the specification. Following that, each vessel’s design is captured in an individualised seabird management plan (or SMP). The full cost of installing a baffler is $3,000-$6,000 so only part of the cost is covered.
AFMA and SETFIA have also produced a video about how to construct bafflers.
Several vessels already have approved bafflers. Pictured below is the approved baffler on the port side of the Western Alliance.
Work continues and there will be lots of activity in the remaining three months.
For more information on seabirds check out these links: