Threat Abatement Plan for seabirds

Black-browed albatrosses such as this one, are affected by oceanic longline fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone.
Black-browed albatrosses such as this one, are affected by oceanic longline fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone. (Photo: Tony Fleming)

The Threat Abatement Plan 2014 for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations was released in August. The Plan has been developed to address the key threatening process of ‘the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations’ which is listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). The Plan varies the Threat Abatement Plan 2006.

The Plan is a feasible, effective and efficient approach to abating the threat to Australia’s seabird biodiversity during oceanic longline fishing operations. The goal of the Plan is to achieve zero bycatch of seabirds, especially threatened albatross and petrel species, in all longline fisheries. The Plan binds the Commonwealth and its agencies in responding to the impact of longline fishing activities on seabirds, and identifies the research, management and other actions needed to reduce the impacts of the key threatening process on affected seabird species. The Plan will be reviewed within five years.

Jonathon Barrington, Senior Policy Adviser, Australian Antarctic Division