Enhanced powers to help seabirds
9 September 2009
New, more flexible regulations coming into place on 1 October will allow the government to quickly put in place and refine mandatory measures for fishing vessels to avoid accidentally catching seabirds, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley announced today.
The new regulation will allow for mandatory mitigation – steps vessels must take to avoid or minimise any accidental seabird captures – to be specified for particular high risk areas, high risk fisheries or for individual fishing vessels that are not doing enough to prevent seabird deaths.
“At the moment it is difficult to impose targeted measures on individual vessels or fisheries, the rules have to be applied as cumbersome and sometimes unfair blanket measures,” Mr Heatley said.
“Seabird mitigation technology is dynamic and technical in nature. Having to go through the full regulatory process every time we need to change specifications or put new measures in place is unwieldy and time consuming.
“The new system will give both the fishing industry and the government flexibility to use the best technology available quickly and where it can be most effectively used.
“This is good news for the fishing industry and good news for seabirds.”