7 August 2013

composite image of bycatch speciesLast month AFMA hosted the 3rd Environmental Non-government Organisations (eNGO) liaison meeting.

Representatives from a few government agencies came to the meeting as well as Greenpeace, Humane Society International and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The three eNGOs provided a brief summary of the key issues they are currently working on. These included:

  • the expanded Albacore Tuna fishery in the South Pacific
  • the reviews of the Commonwealth Harvest Strategy Policy and the Fisheries Bycatch Policy – in particular how the implementation of ecosystems and communities will be included in the policy
  • an ongoing interest in the bycatch of Mako sharks in Commonwealth fisheries
  • developing and finalising a sustainable seafood guide.

Each government agency spoke about key issues they’re working on, with a common theme being involvement in the reduction of bycatch; either through abatement plans, policies, or mitigation strategies. The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry will be releasing a national plan of action for seabirds shortly, while the Australian Antarctic Division plans to seek public comments on the Seabird Threat Abatement Plan review.

The next meeting is scheduled for December 2013 and in the lead up to this, AFMA will be seeking to expand the range of eNGO participation.

For more information, contact Beth Gibson, Senior Manager, Policy Environment Economics and Research on 02 6225 5305 or beth.gibson@afma.gov.au.