A quick guide to the Marine Order 504 changes

In this article, Tuna Australia Program Manager Phil Ravanello gives a quick overview of the changes to Marine Order 504, effective 1 August 2023.

What is Marine Order 504 (MO504)?

Marine Order 504 outlines safety management systems (SMS) required on domestic commercial vessels, including risk assessment, incident preparedness, crew training and other safety aspects of vessel operations.

What were the recent changes to Marine Order 504?

The changes relate to how crew safety is managed to address risks, including fatigue management, emergency procedures, induction and training and the incorporation of life jackets into onboard practices. These risks must be reviewed, reassessed and changes incorporated into the vessels’ SMS.

How were these changes decided? Why were they made?  

The changes were required to align MO504 with the recently revised Marine Order 505 (Certificates of Competency). From these revisions, several safety improvements were identified which then informed an industry consultation process. Tuna Australia and other industry associations were actively involved in this process.

What do these changes mean for Tuna Australia members?

Each company needs to review their current SMS elements to ensure they meet the new requirements. Where they don’t, the company needs to take corrective actions to ensure their vessel does comply. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will do audits and checks over the coming months.

How is Tuna Australia supporting members to enhance their safety operations?

Tuna Australia has previously supplied tablets and digital SMS subscriptions to members' vessels to create an SMS relevant to their fishing businesses.

Tuna Australia’s research program includes projects focused on improving safety outcomes when using threatened, endangered, and protected mitigation gear. We continue to channel member concerns to the relevant areas of AMSA and regularly meet with them to discuss issues relevant to the tuna longline industry.

Where can members get more information?

AMSA is running 90-minute online information sessions on 14, 21 and 26 July – register to attend.

Further information about the changes can be found on the AMSA website, including these topics:

Stay informed

Industry news delivered to your inbox every 1-2 weeks

Subscribe to other updates:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.