In a pro-active move to reduce the number of collisions between trading ships and commercial fishing vessels on the Australian coast, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has launched an Australia-wide safety awareness campaign.

The campaign is designed to raise the awareness of commercial fishermen to the contributory factors which the ATSB has identified during its investigation of 21 collisions between trading ships and fishing vessels since 1990 that have ongoing relevance.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight some of the risks associated with fishing on the Australian coast. The ATSB is working closely with fishing industry peak bodies and officials in each state and territory to implement the campaign.

During the campaign, members of the ATSB's Marine Investigation Unit will be holding a series of informal face-to-face discussions with commercial fishermen in various fishing ports around the country to bring the contributory factors to the attention of the industry. The meetings will be held in major fishing ports around Australia over the next twelve months. The first meeting is scheduled to take place in the southern NSW port of Eden on 2 December 2004.

A series of informative articles will also be printed in commercial fishing industry magazines and newsletters, which will bring the ATSB's message to the attention of those fishermen who can't attend the meetings. The safety awareness articles will start to appear in the fishing industry magazines and newsletters early in the new year.

The ATSB will also be releasing a safety bulletin, which will discuss the Bureau's concerns. The safety bulletin will be sent to state/territory marine authorities and Registered Training Organisations (RTO), responsible for training fishermen in each state and territory, and it will be distributed during the meetings with the fishermen. It will also be able to be downloaded from the website.

Further information on the safety awareness campaign can be obtained by phoning the ATSB on 1800 621 372, (02) 6274 6103 or by emailing the Marine Investigation Unit at:

Media contact: 1800 020 616
Last update 01 April 2011