7 August 2013

Seabird on vesselSeabirds have an important role in the marine environment, which in turn supports our fisheries. Seabirds are attracted to fishing boats—particularly when bycatch and offal is discarded—which brings them into harm’s way.

That’s why we’ve put together a seabird identification guide which was funded by the Australian government’s Caring for Our Country initiative.

The seabird identification guide will help you to identify the birds you come across while fishing. AFMA CEO Dr. James Findlay said, “It is important that we have accurate information on what seabirds fishers are seeing, and that if any seabird dies during fishing it is correctly identified.”

“With AFMA and the fishing industry working together we can help ensure that seabirds continue to thrive.”

“Our collective actions in protecting seabirds will contribute towards our seafood industry being sustainable and profitable into the future.”

For a waterproof copy of the life size seabird bill guide, we suggest downloading the guide and having it printed and laminated at your local print shop.

As well as helping fishers identify seabirds, we have worked closely with industry and seabird experts to come up with ways to reduce the number of seabirds injured or killed by fishing gear. These include tori lines (the scarecrows of the sea) and pinkies (pink buoys which deflect the birds safely away from the fishing gear). Fishers are also required to report all seabird interactions to us in their logbooks (paper or electronic) to meet their obligations under fisheries law.

For more information please contact Cate Coddington, Senior Management Officer on 02 6225 5358 or email cate.coddington@afma.gov.au.