Bycatch in Drift Gillnet Fisheries: a sink for Indian Ocean cetaceans
In 1992, the UN banned the use of large-scale pelagic driftnets on the high seas (UNGA46/215). Three decades later, however, drift gillnets remain one of the primary fishing gears in the Indian Ocean, representing roughly 30 percent of tuna catches in this ocean. Recent estimates indicate that several million small cetaceans have been killed in Indian Ocean gillnets over the past few decades. National agencies and the regional fisheries management organization charged with managing tuna fisheries, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, have yet to comprehensively document the bycatch of small cetaceans in these fisheries. Here we review current information on cetacean bycatch in Indian Ocean drift gillnets and present potential solutions to this important conservation issue.
Note - Open Access PDF for 2024 Conservation Letters article also included here