There are various effects of fishing which may impact on the marine environment and the biota found therein.

The assessment and avoidance of incidental mortality of Antarctic marine animals associated with fishing has been an important issue for CCAMLR over the past decade and one which has assumed priority since the introduction of longline fishing for toothfish in the early 1990s.

Over the past few years, CCAMLR has played an important global role in the creation of measures designed to reduce seabird mortality associated with fishing and this has received international recognition.

CCAMLR established the Ad hoc Working Group on Incidental Mortality Arising from Longline Fishing (WG-IMALF) in 1992.

The terms of reference of this group were modified to also account for incidental mortality associated with trawl fishing, and the group’s name was changed in 2001 to the Ad hoc Working Group on Incidental Mortality Associated with Fishing (WG-IMAF).

As part of its continued efforts to minimise seabird mortality in longline fisheries, in 1996 CCAMLR published an educational book for fishers Fish the Sea, Not the Sky

This promotes practical ways in which longline fishers can reduce incidental catches of seabirds in bottom longline operations.

In the light of new knowledge gained by scientists on seabird–fishery interactions, WG-IMAF, in 2002, initiated a major revision of measures on the reduction of seabird by-catch in longline fisheries. This revision is still in progress. However, most of the measures described in the book remain valid, in particular, in respect of fishing with bottom longlines. The book contains a copy of the most recent Conservation Measure 25-02 which establishes seabird mitigation measures for longline fisheries.

In cooperation with CCAMLR, in 2000 the Museum of New Zealand published Identification of Seabirds of the Southern Ocean – A Guide for Scientific Observers aboard Fishing Vessels.  

Both books were published in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

They have been widely distributed to Members, to fishing companies and to vessels engaged in longline fishing in the Convention Area and adjacent waters.

They have also been made available to scientific observers working in the Convention Area and adjacent areas.