When harvesting seafood the Victorian fishing industry have taken proactive measures to ensure they abide by responsible fishing practices.
Some measures include codes of conduct and environmental management systems (EMS provides a systematic approach to recognising, assessing and mitigating environmental risks facing the fishery) that guide fishing practices and conduct.
Others include input controls such as; limits on the numbers of licences, gear restrictions, seasonal closures and limits on fishing time.
Output controls restrict the fish that can be harvested from a particular fishery and these measures can include; quota systems, total allowable catch targets, bycatch limits. These measures control the total quantity of fish that can be harvested by professional fishermen. Other measures can include permanent closed areas to protect juvenile or breeding fish or to protect important habitats.
Voluntary Codes of Practise and Environmental Management Systems developed by Victorian fishers:
- Victorian Bays and Inlets Fisheries Association EMS (revised 2013)
- Code of Practice for Commercial Haul Seine Fishing in Port Phillip Bay
- Code of Practice for Southern Rock Lobster (revised 2013)
- Code of Practice for the Victorian Abalone Divers Association
Other initiatives include:
- Shark fishers initiated a closure of inshore Victorian coastal waters to a distance of three nautical miles prohibiting shark fishing to protect young pups and breeding adults.
- Fishers in Corner Inlet use four-stroke outboard motors instead of two-stroke motors as these engines are more fuel-efficient, produce less emissions and leave no oil residue on the water. This measure was implemented as part of an environmental management plan overseen by the Corner Inlet Fisheries Habitat Association.
- The Rocklobster Fishery has implemented a code of practice for reducing whale entanglements. This code outlines the voluntary measures taken by Rocklobster fishers toreduce the risk of migrating whales becoming entangled in pot ropes.
- Fishers catching wrasse raised concerns about increasing harvest levels in 1996. As a result a workshop was initiated that introduced specific management measures such as access licences and size limits to protect wrasse stocks.
- In 1993, the Victorian eel fishery implemeted an initiative whereby a fisher can only access a maximum of three specific waters (rivers, lakes etc) based on their fishing history. This reduced access provided fishers with more control over re-stocking and harvesting of eels ensuring sustainability.