AFSA Senior Fisheries Officer, Yang Wu (right)

AFMA’s own completes seafood leadership program

March of this year, Yang Wu (right), one of our Senior Fisheries Officers, secured a place in the government funded National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP). 

On 14 September, Yang presented to government and industry leaders at an event marking the program’s conclusion. He spoke about the dangers posed by ghost nets — abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear in the marine environment. A global problem, and one of the most damaging types of marine pollution, ghost nets drift around the world, propelled by currents and tides.

As they drift, they continue to ‘fish’ indiscriminately and impact threated and endangered species. Other environmental impacts include the movement of marine pests and synthetic materials, as well as hazards created for shipping and navigation.

 “We work with our partner agencies and the recreational and commercial fishing industry to identify and retrieve this fishing gear. It is a continuing concern, but one which we embrace as part of our responsibilities to the marine environment.” Yang told those in attendance at the NSILP Mission Launch.

Based in Lakes Entrance, Yang spoke about the area’s efforts to combat ghost nets and the disposal of fishing equipment more generally. “Like all other fishing ports in Australia, we are fighting our own battle against used fishing gear”.

A six-month long program, NSILP is the only national leadership program for the seafood industry, developed and informed by consultation and feedback from the industry. Delivered by Affectus, the leadership development program caters to aspiring leaders in Australia’s seafood industry, with this year’s cohort including consultants, business owners, and government employees.

Having been chosen in a competitive process and completed the program, Yang reiterated his sentiments from the outset of the program, “I’m proud to have been selected and to be able to represent AFMA in this program, during which I was able to bring the voices and concerns of our fishmen at Lakes Entrance to the industry leaders who attended the mission launch on Thursday the 14th of September 2023. It has been a wonderful journey to work with my NSILP team, the guys back at Lakes Entrance, our fishmen, fish shop owners, commercial fishing gear suppliers and the East Gippsland Local Council. I am looking forward to getting back to Lakes Entrance and continue to help the area raise awareness and combat issues like ghost nets.”

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