Marine Education Society of Australasia
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  Seaweek 2007: Marine Bycatch Matters - MESA    
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Seaweek is a national educational campaign that aims to acknowledge our partners and colleagues involved in marine environmental education and further acknowledge actions for the conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment. It is conducted annually to focus community awareness, provide information and encourage an appreciation of the sea. Seaweek is committed to the United Nations “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development”.

Information sheets and teaching units now available.

Webcast bookings and eCard competition now open

Seaweek 2007

The theme for Seaweek 2007 is "Marine Bycatch Matters" and aims to raise awareness of the bycatch issues facing our marine environment and the steps Australian fishers are taking to minimise and manage bycatch.

In recent years, bycatch has become one of the most significant issues affecting fisheries management, both nationally and globally. Bycatch can occur in commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries.

The bycatch of marine mammals, seabirds, reptiles and some sharks in fisheries is of particular concern because of declining numbers. Even though these species may seldom be caught in most fisheries, some are considered vulnerable to local and even global extinction.

Turtle Excluder Device

Australian fishers, researchers and governments are working together to find ways to reduce bycatch by introducing new technologies and innovation, including changes to fishing gear and practices. The Turtle Excluder Device is such a device that has dramatically reduced turtle bycatch in tropical prawn trawl fisheries.

It’s important to keep looking for new and better ways of reducing bycatch, to benefit the fishing industry and the marine environment.

Key messages

  1. When fishers target particular species that they want to catch, they also catch other species accidentally. These non-target species are called bycatch and can include fish, marine mammals, seabirds or invertebrates such as crabs and shells.
  2. In Australia, our fisheries are trying to reduce bycatch to minimise waste and keep marine resources healthy.
  3. By working together, fishers, gear manufacturers, researchers, government and non-government organisations have introduced technologies and innovations, including changes to fishing gear and practices that have reduced bycatch.
  4. There have been a number of success stories, including using Turtle Excluder Devices in tropical prawn trawl fisheries. These have dramatically reduced turtle bycatch in these fisheries.
  5. It’s important to keep looking for new and better ways of reducing bycatch, to benefit the fishing industry and the marine environment.
How to get involved

eCard competition

The eCard competition is to design an eCard on the theme "Marine Bycatch Matters” and submit the entry using the easy online application. It is open to students in Years 3 to 9.     [  more .. ]

Online teaching units

Online teaching units are being developed for Prep to Year 12 on various topics relating to bycatch.  [  more .. ]

Information sheets

Information sheets have been developed to provide a better understanding of bycatch and to support the teaching units for Seaweek 2007.      [  more .. ]

Recreational Fishers


A great educational tool for Seaweek 2007 is available and will be sent to your school, Marine Discovery Centre or Museum. Contact your local MESA representative for copies.   [  download as pdf .. ]

Online Interactive presentations

Talk with the experts on bycatch solutions. Using the latest web technology, key speakers will bring a live and interactive session into your classroom on one of the Seaweek themes. Teachers must register your choice and session time.   
 [  more .. ]

PowerPoint Presentations

  • Bycatch for lower secondary and upper primary school students.
  • Bycatch for mid secondary school students.

These PowerPoints were developed by MESA Secretariat, Kerrie Trees, and have been converted to Flash to reduce their size. [ more.. ]

Board Game

Come fishing with the Footprint Family and find out how much you have learned about bycatch!   [ more.. ]

Useful links

A list of useful links to key websites and resources to obtain additional information about bycatch. [ more.. ]


Information about people, places and things which can assist you in your teaching about bycatch. [ more.. ]

Register your activity

Every year MESA encourages all teachers and community members to register their Seaweek events on the website.  
[  more .. ]

Local Seaweek events

Events relating to Seaweek 2007 will be organised in each State and Territory. Participate in activities at your local aquaria or marine discovery centres. Contact your local MESA rep for an update or check out the events registered online.

We would like to acknowledge DAFF, AFMA, FRDC, CSIRO and DEW
for allowing us to use their images for Seaweek 2007 activities.


Funding for this project has been provided by the Australian Government through the Natural Heritage Trust.
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