Fishermen follow up on environmental training

In 2009/10 SETFIA ran a series of two day courses held in four south-east Australian ports.   The courses were TAFE accredited and examined.  The curriculum aimed to build awareness of fisheries science and the harvest strategy, of customer expectations and how the Australian wild catch fishing industry is well placed to continue to build a sustainable industry that offers the best of all proteins – fish.   This initial work was funded by theFRDC and brought about immediate and significant gains in reporting and by-catch mitigation.

As a follow-up on this earlier work SETFIA ran a second series of accredited courses in Sydney, Ulladulla and Lakes Entrance with 38 fishermen achieving the qualification this year.   The most recent course aired a video recorded outside a supermarket asking flathead consumers’ about their perceptions of the fishery.  It also revisited the commitments that industry has made with regard to eastern gemfish, seals, blue warehou and seabird management plans.  The course proposed operational ways to ensure that seagoing crew adhere to codes of conduct and fluid management arrangements.  Participants completed a unit on influence and negotiation before adpoting unfamilar roles including that of a green NGO and recreational fishermen during a very funny role play in which the competitive nature of fishermen became apparent.  AFMA and Parks Australia appeared at some courses.

Successful participants who have completed both units of competence can count credits toward the nationally accredited certificate 3 level qualification in seafood industry fishing operations.

This second round of courses was funded by AFMA through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Countryprogram.