Bycatch Reduction Devices: Development, Adoption and Implementation?

Bycatch Reduction Devices: Development, Adoption and Implementation?

Christopher W. Glass, Stephen Eayrs, and Jamie M. Cournane

Bycatch Reduction Devices: Development, Adoption and Implementation?This is part of Fisheries Bycatch: Global Issues and Creative Solutions
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Despite many conservation engineering research initiatives in recent decades, bycatch and discarding continues to be a problem in fisheries worldwide. While a number of bycatch reduction devices have been introduced successfully into fisheries regulations, there are many examples of devices that have been either unsuccessful or have not been adopted generally. Reasons underlying lack of adoption are complex but may include, reluctance of fishers to accept any loss of target catch however small, reticence of fishers and/or managers to change the status quo, concerns regarding enforcement measures, and lack of clear, unequivocal, scientific evidence of the efficacy of the bycatch reduction device or strategy.

Here we provide examples illustrating where bycatch reduction devices and strategies have been successfully introduced, where they exist but have not been implemented, and others where they have been introduced and subsequently dropped from use. We include examples of gear design and modification, bycatch reduction strategies such as quantification of temporal and spatial distributions of fish, and introduction of bycatch caps or quotas that create incentives to avoid bycatch. We also discuss potential reasons for the apparent general lack of adoption of bycatch reduction devices worldwide and make recommendations regarding mitigation measures and reduction programs that hold potential for addressing this issue.

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