Fleet 100% compliant with gear regulations

13th May 2013

All SE trawl vessels are required to run fishing gear that allows small fish to escape. The rules are technical but all vessels must either use large mesh in their codend (the end of the net that collects the fish) or use a by-catch reduction device (BRD). BRDs are used in many trawl fisheries, they allow small fish and in some cases non-commercial species to escape the trawl. Approved BRDs in the South East Trawl (SET) include square mesh panels in the top of the net. The image to the right shows a typical SET BRD and how when diamond mesh is rotated it becomes square (known as T90).  Square mesh is effective because it retains its shape as catch builds up in the net increasing pressure. BRDs are generally positioned in the top of the net because fish will flee upwards where they can see light from the surface.
AFMA recently engagedOceanWatch (an independant NGO) to survey south east trawl vessels. 33 of 39 active vessels completed the survey. 100% of vessels surveyed met the gear requirements.