Protected Species Identification Guide

Cogan K (2006) Protected Species Identification Guide

This guide was developed for Commonwealth of Australia fishers to use when reporting protected species interactions to enable accurate identification of the species. All the native species described in the guide are protected in Australia.

Photographs, maps, drawings (e.g. of beaks, bills, carapaces) and text are used in the species descriptions.

All the native species described in this guide are protected in Australia. This guide is for the Commonwealth fisheries to use when reporting protected species interactions to enable accurate identification of the species. This guide covers the range of protected species which fishers do or have the potential to interact with.
Protected species are an integral part of the ecosystem that support fisheries. Removing any part of an ecosystem can have severe consequences and can have implications for the fishery and its management if it is deemed to be occurring at an unacceptable level. AFMA, industry and scientists are working to minimise interactions with protected species in Commonwealth fisheries.
With AFMA's implementation of an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management, increased focus is being directed reducing bycatch, a fundamental part being accurate reporting of protected species interactions.
As long as operators are fishing in accordance with their fishery's accredited management arrangements, it is not an offence to interact with a protected species even if the animal dies. However it is an offence not to report these interactions to DEH or AFMA.
Operators must report all interactions with protected species. An interaction is any contact operators and their fishing gear has with a protected species, including hooking it on a line, catching it in a net or even a collision with a boat.
All operators need to do is fill out the listed marine and threatened species form (or Wildlife reporting form) in your logbook and then submit it to AFMA. Under agreed reporting arrangements, AFMA will report interactions to DEH on the operator's behalf, by fishery, through periodic summary reports of interactions.
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), animals that are classified as protected. These are divided into four different categories - threatened species, migratory species, marine species and all cetaceans.