ETBF seabird mitigation and reporting requirements 2022

Research projects funded by FRDC and being led by industry are looking at new approaches to reduce seabird interactions, as well as, ways to improve the effectiveness of current seabird mitigation methods and keeping crews safe. Collaboration between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), the fishing industry and researchers has led to regular reviews and improvements to seabird mitigation measures in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF).

Seabird conditions in the ETBF were revised in 2020 introducing additional preventative measures and increased monitoring and reporting of seabird interactions.

With the 2022 season underway, AFMA is reminding ETBF operators of the requirements.

Feather Kits

Operators must carry on board three feather kits at all times and use these kits to collect feather samples from every dead seabird interaction. Completed kits must be posted to Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) using the supplied reply paid envelope. Feather samples are critical to allowing scientists to identify the species of birds interacting with the fishery. If you have less than three feather kits, contact AFMA.

Download the AAD guide to correctly collect data for the feather kits.

E-monitoring

All dead seabirds must be held in view of and in close proximity to the closest or most convenient electronic monitoring camera. The seabird must be held showing the head and bill (for 3 seconds), then underside with one wing outstretched (for 3 seconds), then the back of the bird with one wing outstretched (for 3 seconds).

Individual vessel conditions

Operators need to be aware that individual vessel conditions such as; daylight setting ban, amended line weighting, hook shielding devices or a shift in area of operations may be required if a vessel exceeds the seabird bycatch rate.

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