Review of the statistical data available for bycatch species
To provide participants at the 13th Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB13) with a review of the status of the information available on non-targeted, associated and dependent species of IOTC fisheries, termed ‘Bycatch’. Bycatch has been defined by the IOTC Scientific Committee as: “All species, other than the 16 species listed in Annex B of the IOTC Agreement, caught or interacted with by fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species in the IOTC area of competence. A bycatch species includes those non-IOTC species which are (a) retained (byproduct), (b) incidentally taken in a fishery and returned to the sea (discarded); or (c) incidentally affected by interacting with fishing equipment in the fishery, but not taken.” This paper covers data on sharks2, seabirds, marine turtles, marine mammals and other bycatch in the IOTC Secretariat databases as of 21 July 2017. This document summarises the current information received for species or species groups other than the 16 IOTC species listed in the IOTC Agreement, in accordance with relevant Resolutions adopted by the Commission. The document describes the progress achieved in relation to the collection and verification of data, identifies problem areas and proposes actions that could be undertaken to improve them.