It is concerning that large numbers of seabirds are being incidentally caught in various fisheries across the world. Specifically in oceans close to Australia, albatrosses and petrels are the species most frequently caught incidentally from fishing activities.
To address key threats to seabirds from fishing activities in Australia, the Australian Government is part of the
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) International Plan of Action (IPOA–Seabirds). The IPOA–Seabirds is a voluntary instrument within the framework of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and sets out principles and international standards of behaviour for responsible fishing practices.
- Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP).
The Department of the Environment and Energy is responsible for the national Threat Abatement Plan for the Incidental Catch (or Bycatch) of Seabirds during Oceanic Longline Fishing Operations. This draft plan coordinates national action to alleviate the impact of longline fishing activities on seabirds in Australian waters. It applies to all fisheries under the Commonwealth jurisdiction.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is developing a National Plan of Action for minimising the incidental catch of seabirds in Australian capture fisheries (NPOA–Seabirds). It is expected the final NPOA–Seabirds will be released late 2017.
A draft version of the plan was previously available for public comment. The department is currently reviewing comments received and making relevant changes. The plan is expected to be finalised and released late 2017.