AFMA not flakey about shark handling
Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)
04. December 2014
Recognising the important role that sharks, rays and related species play in Australia’s ecosystems, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) together with Monash University and the shark fishing industry have developed a guide to increase the survival rate of sharks and rays accidentally caught during commercial fishing.
Shark and Ray Handling Practices – A guide for commercial fishers in southern Australia released today presents recommendations to minimise the damage to sharks and rays that are accidentally caught and brought on board fishing boats.
In releasing the report, Dr James Findlay, CEO of AFMA said that protecting marine life was a key part AFMA’s fisheries management practices.
“Ensuring that there is a healthy supply of Australian seafood for current and future generations with minimal impact to the environment, including sharks, is the highest priority for AFMA,” said Dr Findlay.
“Improving handling practices can have a significant impact on the survival rate for sharks and rays that are released after accidental capture.
“AFMA will continue to work with fishers, scientists and researchers to ensure we have the best available information to ensure the sustainability of shark and ray species.”
Co-author of the guide, Associate Professor Richard Reina from Monash University agreed that ongoing research was important to inform fisheries management practices.
“Our common goal is to maintain healthy shark and ray populations alongside efficient, sustainable fisheries,” said Associate Professor Reina.
“Monash’s work with AFMA is a partnership of scientists and government working together to improve the understanding of the impact of incidental capture of sharks and rays on their long term survival.
“This guide assists fishers make informed decisions on how long fishing gear should be in the water, the type of gear being used and handling practices in order to maximise the chance of captured animals surviving.”
Australia is home to more than 300 shark species, around a quarter of all known species globally. In addition to management practices, the guide includes information on the biology of commonly encountered species and current research into shark survivability.
Note by SYM : A PDF-link to download the guide is available in our Publication Section HERE.