Seabird management plans

SETFIA has supported the progression of an additional condition to the trawl fishing license. The new condition states that all trawl vessels must have, and work to, an approved seabird management plan (SMP). This new condition is effective from November 1 2012 this year. From that time South East Trawl vessels must work to approved SMP’s or are in breach of their license conditions and a breach carries severe penalties. The SMP’s are tailored to individual vessels which are all different. All plans contain ways to manage offal so that birds are not attracted to the vessel and some sort of physical device to discourage birds away from warps such as the pinky buoy system used on many vessels. Over the last few months AFMA have visited every vessel in the fishery with the result that all vessels now have approved SMPs. A video of the buoys in use can be found here.