The Commonwealth’s Policy on Fisheries Bycatch ensures that direct and indirect impacts of fishing on marine systems are considered and managed accordingly. This is done through mechanisms that reduce bycatch, improve mitigation measures for protected species and generally minimise impacts of fishing on the marine environment. Australia pursues bycatch management options that are practical, cost effective to apply and support environmental and fisheries legislative requirements.
On 27 May 2013, the Department of Agriculture released the Report on the review of the Commonwealth’s Policy on Fisheries Bycatch which came into operation in 2000 . The review recommended updating the bycatch policy to reflect risk-based approaches that would assess the level and likelihood of impacts on bycatch species. Management responses would be prioritised corresponding with the level of risk. Higher risk and uncertainty, often arising from limited available information, warrants greater levels of intervention.
Based on the recommendations of the review, the bycatch policy has been revised and is currently open for public comment.
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