Young guns work to save seals

4th March 2013

Ashley McNamara (left) (21) and Brendan McKewen (24) are the Skippers of the 71 foot South East Trawl vessel the Western Alliance. The pair of Gen-Y’ers have volunteered to run the shortened trawl project that was launched in September. The project is supported by ExxonMobil and the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country program. Seals sometimes chase fish into trawls and may drown if they can’t find their way back out. This project hypothesises that seals are more likely to find their way out if the length of the trawl net is shortened. Ashley and Brendan will work a shortened and normal trawl net alternately during the next year and carefully gather data on the number of interactions in each net. By helping protect seals, the boys’ work will help protect their future as fishermen.