Bycatch mitigation of endangered marine life

Villafafila M, Carpio A, Rivas ML (2024) Bycatch mitigation of endangered marine life

The fishing gears deployed by fishermen in the world's seas and oceans not only capture target species but also unintentionally ensnares non-target species, a phenomenon known as by-catch. This unintended capture of marine life can present significant challenges to the fishing industry, with adverse impacts on both the environment and species such as sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds, and elasmobranchs, which may be injured or even killed. To address this problem, the fishing industry has implemented regulations and mitigation measures. In this literature review, we have examined 389 articles published between 2010 and 2022 that assess the effectiveness of these measures. It has been demonstrated that the most effective measures are pingers for marine mammals, TEDs (Turtle Excluder Device) for sea turtles and BSLs (Bird Scaring Lines), more commonly known as tori lines, for seabirds. The case of elasmobranchs is the most complex, and the most effective measure is yet unknown. This complexity arises from ongoing targeted fishing on these species, resulting in less monitoring of their catches and, consequently, fewer surveys. Overall, we encourage their globally implementation by fishing industry to reduce by-catch and preserve the future of many endangered species. Keywords: Incidental fishing, cetaceans, LEDs, marine turtles, marine birds, rays, sharks