Cracking the challenges of incentivizing avoidance of unwanted catch

Pol M, Maravelias CD (2023) Cracking the challenges of incentivizing avoidance of unwanted catch. ICES Journal of Marine Science fsad047.

Effective tools, techniques, and strategies to improve commercial fish catches frequently seem to be overlooked or unused. The mixed success of two major approaches to avoiding or reducing unwanted catches, voluntary or mandatory use of more selective gear, and spatiotemporal shifts of effort based on resource distributions, inspired the call for this themed article set (TS). This TS sought to promote deeper consideration of these outcomes by encouraging research to investigate what is required to make alternative, more selective gear, and spatiotemporal avoidance more attractive to fishers. Of the eighteen articles in the TS, seven investigated the behaviour of fishers and applied existing or novel models to deepen understanding of motivations and incentives to change; little overlap among theories was found, and more and deeper consideration of this topic is needed. Five considered aspects of spatiotemporal avoidance; five described technical or other measures. Creative ideas on these topics continue to arise, but understanding of the motivations of fishers to initiate and maintain cooperative behaviours is still rudimentary. One used good, bad, and ugly experiences with policy implementers to promote governance research to crack open the understanding of interactions between policy implementers and policy advisors, and to identify changes needed to facilitate bottom-up initiatives.