Highlights from the First Update to the National Bycatch Report

Highlights from the First Update to the National Bycatch Report

Lee R. Benaka and Erin E. Seney

Highlights from the First Update to the National Bycatch ReportThis is part of Fisheries Bycatch: Global Issues and Creative Solutions
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The first edition of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) U.S. National Bycatch Report (NBR First Edition), published in 2011, documented bycatch estimates using observer data and self-reported logbook data for all fisheries for which this information was available in 2005. NMFS completed the NBR First Edition Update 1 in late 2013. This Update focused on 2010 data and comprised updated species-specific bycatch estimates, as well as updated bycatch estimates for all fisheries in the NBR First Edition (with some consolidation of fisheries).

The Update contained several improvements in bycatch data analysis and bycatch levels, including fish bycatch estimates for 573 fish stocks nationwide, an increase from 480 stocks in the first edition. The Northeast Region provided fish bycatch estimates for 29 fisheries, compared to 25 fisheries in the NBR First Edition. The Pacific Islands Region added protected species bycatch estimates for the American Samoa–based longline fishery. The Southwest Region contributed fish bycatch estimates to this report; the NBR First Edition provided no bycatch estimates for that region.
The Update also highlighted differences in bycatch levels for specific species and fisheries between 2005 and 2010. For example, estimated Alaska Region longline fishery seabird bycatch was 3,712 birds for 2010, compared to 6,353 birds for 2005. In addition, the bycatch ratio for the Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery was 0.64 for 2010, compared to 0.76 for 2005. Future editions of the U.S. National Bycatch Report are expected to include bycatch estimates for additional fisheries and species, as well as improved coefficients of variation for bycatch estimates.

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