Factory trawler Geelong Star halted by AFMA after killing albatrosses

FACTORY TRAWLER: The factory trawler Geelong Star. Photo supplied by Small Pelagic Fishery Industry Association
FACTORY TRAWLER: The factory trawler Geelong Star. Photo supplied by Small Pelagic Fishery Industry Association

Following a higher than expected level of albatross mortalities on the Geelong Star’s last fishing trip in the Small Pelagic Fishery, the vessel will not fish again until additional mitigation measures are agreed by Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to minimise any further interactions.

The 91-metre factory trawler has just spent the month of January fishing offshore from the Narooma, and Bermagui area, causing concern among local gamer fishers and environmentalists. 

AFMA’s acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Nick Rayns said that AFMA would continue to work with the operator, Seafish Tasmania, and seabird experts until the Authority was satisfied that the additional measures would be effective.

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“Minimising interactions with protected species, including albatross, is a requirement of good fisheries management,” Dr Rayns said.

“AFMA has investigated the likely cause of the albatross mortalities and is working with the vessel operator and seabird experts to minimise any future albatross interactions.

“AFMA must be satisfied with the additional mitigation measures before fishing can recommence.

“An AFMA observer and an electronic monitoring system will continue to monitor the vessel’s fishing operations, providing 24/7 monitoring coverage for the vessel.”

More information about the management of the SPF can be found at afma.gov.au

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