Collaboration is powerful. And when it comes to marine conservation, there's considerable power in the partnership that has been forged between WWF, South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) and Coles. In a world first, our three organisations have developed a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) that is transforming Australia's largest fin fish trawl fishery.
This iconic multi-species fishery (harvesting species such as pink ling, blue grenadier, flathead, leatherjacket and oreo dory) is an important fixture in the coastal communities of southeast Australia, particularly around Lakes Entrance. SETFIA, WWF and Coles collaboratively developed a FIP to propel the fishery towards achieving MSC certification for sustainable seafood.
This FIP will address a range of key environmental issues, including bycatch and interactions with threatened species, and the fishery’s operations and management will be assessed like never before. Coles is supporting two specific initiatives: the provision of highly visible windy buoys (pinkies) to all trawl fishing vessels to reduce interaction with seabirds, and the provision of electronic logbooks (e-logbooks) to allow the transmission of catch data in real-time, in support of higher monitoring standards and more responsive management.
By working together, our team is not only protecting our marine environment and its resources; we’re also securing the livelihoods of the Australian families, communities and businesses that ultimately depend on this fishery.
Find out more about this project and how it’s helping people like David Guillot – a SETFIA member, SETFIA director and fisher – by watching our video and reading David’s story.
The South East Trawl Fishery Improvement Project is made possible with the help of Coles.
WWF-Australia is very pleased to be working with Coles to support SETFIA to further improve their fishing practices and, in doing so, reduce their environmental impacts.
It is really a big group effort between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, scientists, CSIRO, WWF and Coles watching over our marine environment for many years to come to ensure that it’s there.
SETFIA member, SETFIA director and fisher working on this project
They have a large fishery and supply a large proportion of fish to us. SETFIA already committed to this program, they are already embarking on the journey, so it made really good sense to work in collaboration with them on the program.
General Manager, Responsible Sourcing, Quality and Product Technology, Coles supermarkets
The South East Trawl Fishery is Australia’s largest Commonwealth managed fin fish fishery.
Timeline of action
Nov 2015 All trawl vessels have been provided with four pinkies each. Pinkies are a proven mitigation device, reducing seabird interactions by 75%.
Aug 2016 All fishers are provided with an electronic logbook system and tablets with the software loaded for trial. The software is progressively modified and updated as required.
June 2017 Ensure that all modified logbooks are rolled out and data collection and reporting continue to occur effectively and accurately.