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New technology to protect Australian marine parks

New technology to protect Australian marine parks
May 4, 2020

New technology to protect Australian marine parks

Funded through the Australian Government’s Our Marine Parks Grants Program, the project being delivered by Tuna Australia uses beacons and satellites to help prevent the accidental drift of lines into no-fishing areas of marine parks.

Initial reports from fishers trialling the new technology show increased accuracy in positioning and tracking of their lines, improving the overall efficiency of their operations and protecting our unique marine species and their habitat.

Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley advised “this is a fantastic outcome that benefits the fishing industry, marine parks and the broader environment.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam added “Australia is a global leader when it comes to fisheries management, and the introduction of this new tracking technology is another great example of our leadership.”

Longline fishing gear is vital to the operations of the Australian tuna industry. The lines are set at sea to move with the winds, currents and tides and fishers normally track their gear using radio beacons.

The new technology being added to vessels uses detailed information from satellites to track beacons attached to the longlines, and velocity measuring devices to better understand the likely effects of ocean currents on these lines.

Tuna Australia Chief Executive, David Ellis noted “the improvements in the tracking technology help our fishers rethink the way they set their longlines. The data can also improve navigation of their vessels, saving time and fuel, and reducing overall costs.

“We’re also looking into further incorporating mapping of marine park zones into our systems to better support our vessels and lines to remain clear of high protection zones.”

“Strict science-based catch limits known as quotas, mean that improving the efficiency of fishing operations does not increase the impact on stocks.”

The Our Marine Parks Grants Program was developed to assist organisations to engage with and support the management of Australian Marine Parks.

A second round of grants has recently taken applications and is offering up to $6 million to organisations and community groups to help Australians gain a deeper understanding and connection to our country’s incredible marine environment.

For information on Our Marine Parks Grants Program click here 

Image courtesy of Tuna Australia

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25th February 2019 - Western Australian Government reveals plans to create new national and marine parks

23rd February 2014 - Recreational divers concerned over return of fishing in NSW marine parks

16th January 2014 - NSW Premier urged to exclude fishing in marine parks

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