OceanWatch Australia works with the seafood industry and the community to advance the sustainability of Australia’s seafood.

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OceanWatch Master Fisherman

The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program is formal training and assessment for professional fishers. Recognised OceanWatch Master Fishermen are continuing to raise the standard of responsible fishing in Australia. OceanWatch Master Fishermen are committed to responsible and sustainable individual fishing practices, going above and beyond the requirements prescribed by state, national and international regulations.

Learn more about the OceanWatch Master Fisherman Program.

Navigate to the Master Fisherman site

Urchin Plague-From Problem to Profit

This initiative seeks to control populations of the long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) which have fed voraciously on marine vegetation. The urchin barrens that form as a result of this pose a threat to native biodiversity and undermine profitable harvesting of C.rodgersii as a commercial species.  The project includes the development of and training in the Environmental Code of Practice for the Abalone, and Sea Urchin and Turban Shell (SUTS) fisheries.

Divers from the Abalone and SUTS fisheries will work to reduce the density of urchins by culling four urchin barrens (8 ha) in NSW until mid-2021. This can aid in enhancing seaweed habitats, thereby improving biodiversity, and can also improve remaining urchin roe quality as well as increasing the abundance of quality abalone. This project is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

East Coast Whale Entanglement Mitigation Program

The East Coast Whale Entanglement Mitigation Program has been initiated in NSW to respond to the issue of entanglement with NSW set fishing gear. OceanWatch partnered with the Professional Fishermen’s Association (PFA) to host a workshop as the first stage of the East Coast Whale Entanglement Mitigation Program.

The workshop objectives identified a range of fishing gears and techniques suitable for the mitigation of whale entanglements to be tested by commercial fishers, and considered modification of existing NSW OTL Fishery Codes of Practice to include specific practices to mitigate whale entanglement.
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The purpose of the program is to assist Australian inshore fishers in embedding best practice environmental stewardship into commercial fishing and aquaculture operations. In doing so, the program will address national marine priorities aimed at advancing the sustainability of the Australian seafood industry by:

  • Enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality in estuaries and coastal environments;

  • Working with industry and local communities to minimise environmental impacts of commercial activities;

  • Introducing industry and communities to sustainable technologies and behaviours that will deliver a more productive and profitable industry.

This project is supported by OceanWatch Australia, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Learn more about the WetFEET Program.

Tide to Tip

‘Tide to Tip’, held on the week of the 17th of February 2020, is a series of Australian oyster industry led clean-up events through which farmers can lead and participate in clean-ups within and surrounding Australian waterways.
Whilst many oyster farmers already participate in estuary clean-ups throughout the year, ‘Tide to Tip’ provides an opportunity to scale up the effort by combining industry effort across NSW and Interstate to collectively improve our nations waterways.
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Oyster Environmental Management Systems

The EMS (Environmental Management System) process, is a program in which oyster farmers undertake a risk assessment to identify hazards affecting both the water quality and the growth of their oyster farm produce.

OceanWatch was responsible for securing and funding these EMS programs, helping farmers develop action plans to address high-risk activities impacting on sustainability.

Learn more about the Oyster EMS program.

Learn more about our completed seafood industry programs.

Learn more about our community programs.

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