Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy

​The Commonwealth’s Policy on Fisheries Bycatch  (Bycatch Policy) ensures that direct and indirect impacts of fishing on marine systems are considered and managed accordingly. This is done through mechanisms that reduce bycatch, improve mitigation measures for protected species and generally minimise impacts of fishing on the marine environment. Australia pursues bycatch management options that are practical, cost effective to apply and support environmental and fisheries legislative requirements.

Revised Bycatch Policy

In November 2018, the revised Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy (the Bycatch Policy) was released.

The bycatch policy provides a framework for managing fishing-related impacts to bycatch species in Commonwealth fisheries. It draws upon the outcomes of the Report on the review of the Commonwealth Policy on Fisheries Bycatch of May 2013 and provides other relevant updates to ensure the Commonwealth’s approach to bycatch management continues to reflect international best practice.

Key revisions include:

  • improved guidance on species classification and policy coverage for all species
  • inclusion of a risk-based approach to monitoring, assessing and managing bycatch
  • consideration of cumulative impacts on bycatch species
  • inclusion of a performance monitoring and reporting framework.

The policy is supported by implementation guidelines which provide detailed practical guidance on the assessment and management of bycatch species across the diverse range of Commonwealth fisheries.


DocumentPagesFile size
Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy DOCX 21696 KB
Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy PDF 28696 KB
Guidelines for the Implementation of the Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy DOCX 50956 KB
Guidelines for the Implementation of the Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy PDF 56956 KB

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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