AMSA joins forces with Queensland to improve safety for dory fishing operations

Thursday 14 November 2019
Authorities are joining forces to improve commercial line fishing operations that use tenders, or dories, in a push to improve the safety culture in an industry that has a reputation for being high risk.
Media Release

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will be working with the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol to increase the focus on marine safety in coastal communities across Queensland. A similar presence will be rolled out nationally over the next 12 months.

The safety campaign being led by AMSA with the support of Queensland agencies will focus on education and national law requirements which apply to commercial dory fishing operations.

AMSA General Manager of Operations, Allan Schwartz, said a number of serious incidents in recent years showed risk-taking in the industry was unacceptably high.

“We know that some—not all—dory fishing operations are not adequately considering the safety of their people out on the water,” Mr Schwartz said.

“It equates to a poor safety culture that’s putting lives at risk and that’s unacceptable both from a community expectation and regulatory perspective.

“The people who work in this industry have families waiting for them to come home. Those families deserve to have peace of mind that their loved ones are being taken care of out on the water.

“We’ve seen evidence of fishers with no access to two-way communication devices like radios and satellite phones. In the event of an emergency, these fishers have no way of alerting their mates out on the water to what’s happening – mates who could come to their aid much faster than authorities who are potentially hours away.

“We’ve seen evidence of people without lifejackets and performing dangerous anchor retrieval manoeuvres which put them at risk of hooking-up and capsizing. We’re not talking about expensive operational overhauls, in fact many of the safety measures we want to see in place are either at no cost or at low cost to operators.

“This safety campaign is about making dory fishing operations safer, and we all have a vested interest in that.”

For more information about the safety campaign, visit