Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy and SESSF Closure Direction No. 3

30 June 2010

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission has finalised the Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy which comes into force on 30 June 2010 (SESSF Closure Direction 3 2010).

The Strategy is designed to meet the AFMA’s obligations under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (FMA) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Strategy will significantly reduce the impact of fishing in the SESSF on Australian sea lions and enable the recovery of the species, including all sub populations.

Measures to achieve this include:

1. formal spatial closures to 6,300 square kilometres of the SESSF in high risk areas around all colonies, with the size of individual closures varying according to risk. These closures cover the area of the fishery in which 67% of all observed fishing mortalities have occurred

2. additional regional seasonal closures if a predetermined number of Australian sea lion interactions occur

3. increasing the observer coverage from 2.4% to 11% to enhance data collection on Australian sea lion interactions and support the adaptive management system outlined in measure 2 above

4. trials of modified fishing gear to mitigate the risk gillnets pose to Australian sea lions

5. a trial of hook fishing methods to assess the impacts of a large scale shift from gillnets to hooks in South Australia

The Strategy will be complemented by industry-initiated measures, including a Code of Conduct, education and training, an environmental management plan and a stakeholder working group to advise on the Strategy’s implementation.

During the first year, AFMA will conduct formal quarterly reviews of the strategy in consultation with stakeholders, including scientists and marine mammal experts and will report to the AFMA Commission and DEWHA. This ongoing assessment will allow the assessment of available data and consideration of amendments to the Strategy as new information becomes available.

If you have any enquires relating to this matter please do hesitate to contact George Day, Acting Manager Gillnet, Hook and Trap Fishery on Ph. 02 6225 5331 or email

Title Size
Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy 832kb
Letter, Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy and Closure Direction No. 3, 30 June 2010 238kb
SESSF (Closures) Direction No.3 2010 external link
SESSF (Closures) Direction No.3 2010 Explanatory Statement external link
SESSF Temporary Order 2010 80kb
Closures Overview  
Closures Kangaroo Island  
Closures Western Eyre Peninsula  
Closures Southern Eyre Peninsula  
Closures Head of Bight