Protected species

As part of its commitment to promoting sustainable use of fisheries resources, AFMA engages in many protected species issues.

A number of marine species are listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 including seals and sea lions, sharks, turtles, seabirds and cetaceans (whales and dolphins). The fishing industry interacts with these species and as such must be accredited to do so.

Species listed fall into four main categories:

  1. a member of a listed threatened species or listed threatened ecological community
  2. a member of a listed migratory species
  3. a member of a listed marine species
  4. a cetacean

Information on protected species is available through our Threatened, Endangered, Protected species Management Fact Sheets and Protected Species ID Guide (PDF, 3.5MB) and Seabird ID Guide.

Threatened, Endangered, Protected Species Management Fact Sheets

Interactions with protected species

An interaction is any physical contact a person, boat or gear has with a protected species including catching and colliding with any of these species.

As a result of being a wild animal harvesting industry, the fishing industry may interact with protected species. All AFMA-managed fisheries have accreditation under Part 13 of the EPBC Act 1999 for interactions with protected species. Without this accreditation, fishing operators may be liable for prosecution for the capture of protected species. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (763kb) between AFMA and the Department of the Environment allows AFMA to report interactions with protected species on behalf of Commonwealth fishers. As long as operators are fishing in accordance with the accredited fishery management arrangements it is not an offence to interact with a protected species. However, it is an offence not to report these interactions in their AFMA logbook. So, don’t get caught – just report!

All interaction reports are provided to the Department of the Environment quarterly and are available below.

Protected species interaction reports from AFMA logbooks

See also: Past protected species interaction reports from AFMA logbooks

To find out more about protected species interactions with fisheries contact our Environment section on 1300 723 621.

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