AMCS missing the boat on sea turtle interactions

Sea turtle. Photo by Brian Beggerly.

Once again the Australian Marine Conservation Society misrepresents data on turtle and wildlife interactions in their latest media release.

The facts are:

  1. All Commonwealth fisheries undertake an ecological risk assessment ensuring sustainability.
  2. The fishery is scientifically assessed on an annual basis for sustainability.
  3. Longline fishing accounts for 0.5% of turtle deaths. However, thousands are killed every year due to many reasons of which fishing has a negligible impact.
  4. The tuna longline fishing industry catches fish sustainably and continues to research how to minimise bycatch.

To address turtle mortalities the AMCS need to be transparent and identify the main impacts on turtle populations.

The Australian Government is to be commended with their Commonwealth marine park management plans ensuring Australia meets international marine conservation targets and is recognised as a global leader in marine conservation. This status has been achieved through robust science and sound planning.

Fishers are the stewards of our marine environment as their livelihoods, families and regional communities depend on it. Seafood is a critical part of the Australian way of life and we do not want to see Australia import more seafood when we can catch our seafood sustainably.

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