Protection of seabird may cause decrease of fresh fish supply in Australia
Fisheries say "a new rule designed to protect seabirds could drastically reduce the supply of Australian fresh fish and severely damage the industry"
Simon Boag, the chief executive of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), said the new measure could reduce productivity by as much as 40 per cent.
He said, "No-one in the world has ever tried this just because operationally it's so difficult."
Dr Barry Baker, Chair of the Australasian Seabird Group, Birdlife Australia said "Preventing offal discharge when gear is in the water is the most effective way of minimising seabird bycatch in trawl fisheries and is a proven mitigation measure," and she continued with "I would hope that it will be extended to all fishing in all areas, and not just to those considered to be high risk."
According to the CEO of Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), the issue not solved.
"It sounds like a very simple solution, the answer lies with the economics of the fishing industry," Mr Norris said.
AFMA said fishermen can apply for an exemption if they can show offal methods that eliminate the risk of seabird interaction.