National Plans of Action and Strategies to Address Fisheries Bycatch

National measures being developed and implemented to address bycatch issues include:


The National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (Shark-plan) is being implemented by the Shark Implementation and Review Committee (SIRC). The Shark-plan directs coordinated national actions on the long-term management and conservation of Australia’s shark resources. The Shark-plan responds to conservation and management issues and promotes ecologically sustainable development of shark stocks. Two of the main objectives of the Shark-plan are ensuring that shark catches from target and non-target catches are sustainable and minimising unutilised incidental catches of shark. 

The SIRC is responsible for initiating and overseeing the four-yearly review of the Shark-plan. The first review is due to take place in 2008 in consultation with stakeholders to determine the extent to which the Shark-plan has achieved its objectives. Based on the outcomes of the review, a revised Shark-plan will be developed.


The National Strategy to Address Interactions Between Humans and Seals: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Tourism is currently being implemented in southern Australia under the guidance of the National Seal Strategy Implementation Group. The National Seal Strategy aims to assist the commercial fishing, aquaculture and tourism sectors to understand legislation protecting seals in Australian waters. It also guides industry efforts to reduce any adverse impacts on seals while maintaining the economic and ecological sustainability of those industries. It includes specific objectives and actions to be undertaken between 2007–2011 to address adverse human-seal interactions, identifies the agencies and organisations responsible for implementing each action and gives timelines and performance indicators to assist in assessing progress and evaluating outcomes.


A National Plan of Action for Reducing the Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (NPOA-Seabirds) is being developed by the Sustainable Resource Management division within DAFF. The NPOA-Seabirds will outline a series of actions that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of seabird mortalities within Australian longline fisheries and provides a clear direction for the collection of information on seabird interactions.

A Threat Abatement Plan 2006 for the Incidental Catch (or by-catch) of Seabirds During Oceanic Longline Fishing Operations (TAP)PDF Icon PDF [1.1mb] has been developed and is currently being implemented to address key threats to seabirds. The TAP’s objectives are to be achieved through 5 key areas:

  • Mitigation
  • Education
  • International initiatives
  • Innovation
  • Research and development


A Recovery Plan for Marine Turtles in Australia has been developed by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (formally DEWHA). The overall objective of the plan is to reduce the detrimental impacts on Australian populations of marine turtles and hence promote their recovery in the wild.