new by-catch device

35 percent reduction in bycatch trial

A NEW by-catch device has delivered impressive results that will improve the sustainability of fishing operations of wild catch prawns in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston recently met with the developer, Mr Kon Triantopoulos, and representatives of the NPF industry to hear how this device works.

“The trial results indicated a statistically significant reduction in by-catch of approximately 35 percent,” Minister Ruston said.

“This has been confirmed by CSIRO and is a fantastic outcome for this industry-led initiative.”

The NPF has been a leader in addressing by-catch issues over many years.

The current by-catch strategy commits to an additional 30 percent by-catch reduction over three years, and the positive results from the industry trial of this new device, called Kons Covered Fisheye, is a demonstration of industry leading by example.

“Australia has some of the best-managed fisheries resources in the world, but we always strive to do more, so it was pleasing to hear that this new device is delivering such significant and noticeable results,” Minister Ruston said.

“I congratulate the NPF for this fantastic result.

“It is yet another example of what can be achieved with industry leading from the front.

“This is a great example of the benefits of a collaborative approach to fisheries management through industry, scientists and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority working together to continually improve the sustainability of our fisheries.”

The Kons Covered Fisheye device is a modification of a by-catch reduction device already approved by the AFMA called a ‘fish-eye’.

AFMA, with technical support from CSIRO, was involved in the industry trial to measure the catch variation between nets, with and without the device.

AFMA staff spent more than 1200 hours at sea, weighing and sorting prawns and by-catch and recording the results.

Underwater camera equipment was also deployed to analyse how different species were interacting with the device.

For more information on the NPF, visit afma.gov.au

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