Report of the Workshop on WCPFC Bycatch Mitigation Problem-Solving 28-30 May 2018, Noumea, New Caledonia
A workshop on bycatch mitigation problem-solving using the Bycatch Management Information System (BMIS) was convened by the WCPFC with funding provided by the ABNJ Tuna Project from 28-30 May 2018. A total of 27 participants representing eleven WCPFC CCMs and seven inter-governmental and nongovernmental organizations with WCPFC observer status attended the workshop. The workshop was designed to introduce the BMIS and show how it can help address some of the bycatch issues facing the WCPFC. These objectives were addressed by activities and exercises exploring the scientific literature on circle hooks, operational changes, finfish bait and deterrents to reduce sea turtle interactions; and the use of bird scaring or tori lines, night setting, line weighting and bait sink rate, and hook shielding devices to reduce seabird interactions. Safe release techniques for sharks and seabirds were also reviewed and discussed. Finally, the workshop briefly discussed the current WCPFC Regional Observer Programme (ROP) minimum standard data fields (MSDF) and the data holdings available to describe bycatch mitigation use in the WCPFC.