Prawn fishermen operating off Queensland's north coast have been voluntarily removing abandoned fishing nets from their fishery when they appear as part of a partnership with World Animal Protection (WAP).
Conservationists and northern prawn fishermen have come together to work towards a dedicated body appointed to cleaning up destructive 'ghost nets' in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Members of the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry (NPF) collected three large nets during the Gulf's 2015 banana and tiger prawn season. Among the nets found so far were monofilament gill nets, roughly about 30 metres with a drop of 10 metres, and they were all brought in to the port of Karumba. The Northern prawn fishers have concluded that whilst their actions have been positive they are not equipped to tackle the large scale problem and need support from government bodies.
Advocates for the removal of the nets want the Government to dedicate one central agency responsible for surveilling for ghost nets, particularly in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and then responding to reports of abandoned nets at sea and being responsible for recovering them.