Abrolhos Islands are having new rules which help to protect sea lion pups, will ensure Western Australia’s rock lobster industry maintains its international certification as a sustainable fishery. Principal Management Officer Graeme Baudains said the State’s western rock lobster fishery was the world’s first fishery to gain global certification, by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), eleven years ago and it had maintained its world-class status through constant attention to sustainability issues.
According to Baudains mandatory sea lion exclusion devices, or SLEDs, for rock lobster pots were introduced in 2006, for a special zone around the sea lion breeding colonies between Lancelin and Dongara. He says the extension to cover specific areas at the Abrolhos Islands continues to enhance the environmental credentials of the fishery.
Baudains also said that the new regulations would require commercial and recreational lobster pots in the special zones to be fitted with SLEDs. The Department of Fisheries will work closely with fishers to transition to full SLED implementation by 2012.