Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries (REBYC-II LAC)

FAO and Incopesca train artisanal fishers to reduce bycatch and discards

  • The guidelines are an FAO international instrument to promote responsible fishing, minimizing catches and mortality of species
  • The first trainings take place in the Gulf of Nicoya on Venado Island from August 5 to 8 during closed seasons

August 06, 2019, San José, Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca) with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the project Sustainable Management of Bycatch in trawl fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean (REBYC-II LAC), trains 160 artisanal fishers from Venado Island in Florida and the East to raise awareness among fishing communities on the importance of applying the International Guidance for managing bycatch and reducing discards.

“The socialization of the guidelines allows fishermen and fisherwomen to expand their traditional knowledge and the effective application of responsible fishing of resources, with a long-term vision of human and sustainable development in our country,” said Jorge López Romero, Head of the Extension and Training Department of Incopesca.

During the training, fishers will learn about the importance of reducing bycatch due to the negative economic and ecological consequences they cause to the ecosystem, such as the change in the sustainability of the good chain due to dead fish being wasted and thrown into sea.

Through global expert consultation, FAO developed the International Guidelines on Bycatch Management and Reduction of Discards to assist States in implement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

“In order to implement bycatch management and reduce discards, it is necessary to implement an ecosystem approach, design and execute management plans in conjunction with coastal communities, and incorporate science-based solutions, such as measures established through international instruments,” commented Victor Milla, FAO’s Official Programme Representative.

The guidelines are an FAO international tool to promote responsible fishing, minimizing catches and mortality of species, guiding on more effective management measures and record keeping that account for bycatch and discards.

The first trainings in the country take place from 5 to 8 of August, after which trainings will be held in other communities in the Gulf of Nicoya within the framework of the closure. The ban lasts for 3 months. During this period it is prohibited to carry out fishing in a specific area established by agreements or official rules, in order to protect the processes of reproduction and recruitment of marine species.

Closures during spawning seasons are a guarantee to ensure the reproduction of fish at this important stage of their life cycle. Respecting these seasons is the responsibility of all people who depend on the fishing resource. Closed seasons help maintain healthy fish and invertebrate populations so that fishing can continue without risking the sustainability of the resource and ecosystems.

According to FAO, States must ensure that all fisheries with bycatch are covered by fisheries management plans and that planning is based on the ecosystem approach to fisheries and the Code of Conduct.

Costa Rica