A NSW Government website - NSW Marine Estate

Instagram NSW Marine Estate

NSW trawl fishers get on-board with seabird friendly practices

Published 21 October 2021

A close-up view of the face of a Shy Albatross in flight.

Threatened species of seabirds like the Shy Albatross will be kept from being harmed during commercial fish trawl operations in NSW by new practices. Photo by Simon Gorta.

The chance of a threatened species of seabird being injured or killed by commercial fish trawl operations in NSW has been almost eliminated, thanks to a commitment by all trawler operators to new fishing practices.

Every active commercial fish trawl vessel operating in NSW has voluntarily agreed to adopt new seabird management plans, which outline practices that prevent seabirds coming in contact with fishing equipment.

Some of the new practices include deploying bright-coloured buoys on trawl lines and not discharging offal during operations.

The seabird-friendly fishing practices were developed in collaboration between the NSW fish trawl fishers, OceanWatch Australia and NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries).

Adoption of these measures follows research findings that showed NSW commercial fishing operations were already seabird-friendly. Read the scientific research paper for more information.

This work was funded by the NSW Government’s 10-year Marine Estate Management Strategy, which aims to manage the state’s coast and sea for the wellbeing of the community.

Read more about how the Strategy is taking action to protect threatened and protected marine wildlife from harm.

Three men holding booklets and standing next to bright coloured buoys with a fish trawl vessel in the background.

NSW commercial fish trawl operators have voluntarily agreed to adopt plans that will prevent threatened seabirds from being injured or killed as a result of fishing operations. Photo by OceanWatch Australia.

Read more marine estate news.