The Bycatch Management Information System (BMIS) focuses on bycatch mitigation and management in oceanic tuna and billfish fisheries*. It is an open resource useful for fishery managers, fishers, scientists, observers, educators and anyone with an interest in fisheries management. As a reference and educational tool, the BMIS aims to support the adoption and implementation of science-based management measures so that bycatch is managed comprehensively and sustainably. The BMIS mainly focuses on highly migratory species with low reproductive rates, including seabirds, sharks and rays, sea turtles and marine mammals.
In the BMIS, the term ‘bycatch’ mainly refers to the incidental capture of non-target species, including seabirds, sea turtles, sharks and rays, and marine mammals, in oceanic longline, purse-seine and gillnet tuna and billfish fisheries. Sharks are always treated as bycatch for the purposes of the BMIS, although they may be targeted or treated as an associated catch in some tuna fisheries.
Good species identification skills among crew and observers are important for reasons of science (data quality) and compliance (the enforcement of conservation measures). They also enable the use of appropriate safe handling and release procedures.