General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Overview of mitigation measures to reduce the incidental catch of vulnerable species in fisheries

Studies and Reviews. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. No. 100. Rome, FAO 2021


Interactions between fisheries and marine vulnerable species, in particular marine mammals, seabirds, sharks and rays, and sea turtles, represent a global conservation issue, and mitigating the impacts of these interactions is an important step to ensure the sustainability of fisheries. This literature review presents information on mitigation measures and techniques that have been developed and tested worldwide in order to address both the incidental catch of highly mobile species (marine mammals, seabirds, sharks and rays, and sea turtles) and depredation caused by dolphins. It is based on more than 300 documents, including peer-reviewed publications, reports from international organizations and papers available on the Internet. Most of the mitigation techniques illustrated are still under development and very few have been adopted through legislation. Mitigation measures are presented according to the main groups of fishing gear – gillnets and trammel nets, longlines and lines, trawls, purse seines, traps and pots – and subdivided according to the four main groups of vulnerable species: marine mammals, seabirds, sharks and rays, and sea turtles. Preventive and curative approaches covering both technical measures (gear modifications, strategies, as well as acoustic, visual, magnetic and chemosensory deterrents) and management measures are described.


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