AFMA is committed to bycatch reduction, improved protection for vulnerable and threatened species and minimising any adverse impacts of fishing on the marine environment.
The AFMA Bycatch and Discard Program develops policy and management strategies to manage the impact of commercial fishing on non-target and protected species.
The Bycatch and Discard Program regularly deploys officers in the field to work with industry, trialling and assisting in the development of new bycatch reduction devices and practices.
What is bycatch?
“Species that physically interact with fishing vessels and/or fishing gear and are not usually kept by commercial fishers”
Bycatch species may include fish, crustaceans, sharks, molluscs, marine mammals, reptiles and birds. Bycatch includes listed protected species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
What are discards?
“Any part of the catch which is returned to the sea, dead or alive”
Discards can apply to fish of a commercial species that are not kept (because they are undersize, or the fishers could not obtain quota, or trip limits apply) and to the disposal of incidental species taken during fishing operations.