A new Non-fish/Protected Species Catch Return (NFPSCR) will come into effect from 1 October 2008. The NFPSCR form replaces the Non-fish Incidental Catch Return which has been the main means of reporting incidental catch for most fishers. The NFPSCR forms will be due on the same day as the rest of the catch effort returns.
The non-fish and protected fish species catches that will be required to be reported include:
- seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, prions, gulls, terns, shags, gannets, boobies and penguins;
- marine mammals such as dolphins, toothed whales, baleen whales, seals and sea lions;
- marine reptiles such as turtles and sea snakes;
- corals, sponges and bryozoans (animals that form coral-like clumps on the sea floor);
- protected fish species - currently great white shark (or white pointer) and spotted black grouper.
New catch effort returns have also been introduced which are the same as the old returns except that they include a new tick box to indicate whether or not you have caught a non-fish or protected species. If the answer is "YES" then you must complete a NFPSCR. If the answer is "NO" then you are not required to do anything further.
All fishers will be sent out a book of NSPFCR forms before 1 October 2008 with a full-colour flipchart guide to identifying species and the appropriate codes to use when entering information about non-fish/protected species on these returns. Any new catch effort forms that need to be issued will be sent out at the same time with covering instructions and explanatory notes.
From 1 October 2008 all fishers will need to cease using current catch effort returns and start using the new returns which will be distributed in September. If you have any questions about the new forms or do not receive new books, please call the FishServe helpline on (04) 460 9555.