MODIFIED: Trawlermen will have to adopt new practices in order to reduce their bycatch as of Sunday.
MODIFIED: Trawlermen will have to adopt new practices in order to reduce their bycatch as of Sunday. Peter Weekes

Trawlers face changes to prevent accidental catches

TRAWLING practices are being modified in Queensland to reduce accidental catch of non-target species.

Fisheries Queensland fisheries management officer Darren Roy outlined the changes to bycatch reduction devices that will come into effect from Sunday, March 1.

"As part of the changes, certain types of bycatch reduction devices that were not as effective as other designs will no longer be allowed," Mr Roy said.

"The alf-round square mesh codend, popeye fish excluder and radial escape section BRDs can no longer be used, reducing the number of BRD options from eight to five.

"Modifications have been made to the remaining five BRD options to improve their performance resulting in more durable devices and improved bycatch reductions."

There are also approved BRD types when fishing with prawn nets in certain areas, but when using scallop nets, only a scallop square mesh codend can be used.

For turtle excluder devices, scallop mesh up to 90 mm may be used for flaps in scallop nets only and accelerator funnels may now be used with all turtle excluder devices. Mr Roy said trawl net inspections would also occur while boats were in port or at anchor.

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