AUSTRALIA : A new bycatch device would improve the sustainability of wild shrimp fisheries by 35 per cent in Australia’s Northern prawn fishery (NPF).
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, met with the device developer, Kon Triantopoulos, and representatives of the NPF industry to learn details about its operation.
“The trial results indicated a statistically significant reduction in bycatch of approximately 35per cent,” the viceminister stressed.
According to Ruston, the results have been confirmed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and they constitute a great achievement for this industry-led initiative.
The assistant minister stressed that the NPF has been a leader in addressing bycatch issues over many years.
“Their current bycatch strategy commits to an additional 30 per cent bycatch 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,” she added.
The device developed is a modification of another bycatch reduction device already approved by the Australian Fisheries Administration Authority (AFMA), called '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.
In addition, the agency’s staff spent more than 1,200 hours at sea, weighing and sorting prawns and bycatch and recording the results.
Underwater camera equipment was also deployed to analyse how different species were interacting with the device.FIS