In commercial fishing some parts of a catch may be discarded because they are undersize, the fisher may not hold enough quota, or incidental species are caught during fishing operations.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) Bycatch and Discard Program develops policy and management strategies to manage the impact of commercial fishing on non-target and protected species.
To ensure sustainability of stocks AFMA requires fishers to record all discarded catch, this includes any part of the catch, which is returned to the sea, alive or dead.
AFMA’s is reminding fishers they are required to record all discards in their logbooks.
The recording instructions and the information that must be recorded, can be found in your logbooks, including:
- the number of fish discarded
- the reason for discarding using the discard codes, and
- the discard weight.
During an inspection AFMA fisheries Officers will ask to review all of your logbook data, including your discard reports.
Failing to accurately complete logbooks is an offence under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, which may lead to compliance action. Such action may include the issuing of cautions, infringement notices (including fines), the suspension of fishing concessions, and /or prosecution.
More information can be found on AFMA’s website: Bycatch and discarding program.