In 2017 the Australian Government published The National Strategy for Reducing Vessel Strike on Cetaceans and other Marine Megafauna 2017.
This document provides guidance on how to measure and reduce the risk of vessel collisions and the impacts they may have on marine megafauna, including cetaceans.
The development of this strategy included targeted stakeholder engagement in 2015, which included relevant state and territory government agencies, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Non- Government Organisations, including International Fund for Animal Welfare and Humane Society International. Following this public comments were sought in early 2017 before the document was finalised.
The strategy objectives include:
• Data acquisition to address information and knowledge gaps.
• Data analysis involving a risk assessment and analysis of existing databases.
• Mitigation to reduce the likelihood and severity of vessel collisions.
• Communication to support the achievement the three previous objectives.
The AMMC has developed a national ship strike database and an associated web-based questionnaire, based closely on the IWC data collection questionnaire. This will ensure that the data collected in Australia is compatible with the IWC ship strike database. Attempts to submit data from Australian waters directly to the IWC will be redirected back to the AMMC-based portal to ensure all reporting has national verification.
National strategy for reducing vessel strike on cetaceans and other marine megafauna
Assessing the level of risk posed by vessel collisions to cetaceans – building on a project that assessed the risk of large vessels colliding with humpback whales in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park