Reducing and managing bycatch

The objective is to build on the success of the 2002-2008 project with additional partners from the public and private sector, to broaden the number of participating countries and integrate BRDs into a wider management framework aimed at sustainable fishing practices.


The issue – Current situation

  • 15-20 million tonnes of bycatch caught by mixed-species shrimp trawlers
  • 1.9 million tonnes of bycatch discarded annually from shrimp trawlers alone
  • inadequate resource conservation and management practices
  • habitat loss and degradation
  • insufficient capacity to support existing fishing levels
  • overexploitation threatening biodiversity and livelihoods


Global solutions – What can be done

  • foster public and private sector partnerships to reduce bycatch
  • promote awareness of the need for sustainable fisheries management
  • conduct pilot projects to develop/test bycatch reduction technologies
  • create incentives to adopt responsible fishing practices



Ongoing actions – Current responses
Under the 2002-2008 FAO/GEF/UNEP bycatch reduction project*

  • 12 countries implemented bycatch reduction technologies
  • strong partnership established between industry and government
  • bycatch reduction technology transferred between countries and regions
  • bycatch mitigation measures incorporated into national legislation
  • reduction of up to 65 percent of juvenile food fish in sea trials



Taking it to the next level – What needs to be done

  • raise international awareness to assess, monitor and mitigate bycatch problems
  • expand activities and geographical coverage to manage bycatch and reduce discards
  • develop and promote industry adoption of “Best Practice Guidelines” for fishing operations
  • create legislation on responsible fishing practices



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