Bycatch Handling - AFMA Bycatch handling and treatment Guide 2016/17

AFMA (2016) Bycatch Handling - AFMA Bycatch handling and treatment Guide 2016/17. Australian Fisheries Management Authority

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) must pursue its legislative objectives as stated in the Fisheries Management Act 1991. In relation to the handling and treatment of bycatch, this is relevant to both the sustainable harvest of fisheries resources and the maximising of net economic returns from fisheries. Unnecessary fishing mortality caused by mistreating bycatch can negatively affect both future catches and financial returns.
AFMA recognises the complexities involved in both the safe and effective handling of bycatch by operators in Australian commercial Commonwealth fisheries. In recognition of this it is necessary to provide fishers with a guide to assist in defining the acceptable treatment of bycatch species, to ensure chances of survival. Bycatch species may include fish, crustaceans, sharks, molluscs, marine mammals, reptiles and birds. Bycatch also includes listed protected species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The purpose of this document is to:
• Remind fishers of the concession conditions surrounding the correct handling and treatment of bycatch, and
• Provide fishers with a guide on what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to the treatment and handling of bycatch.

This document will be periodically reviewed in response to feedback from industry and other stakeholders.