Review of the statistical data available for bycatch species
To provide participants at the 16th Session of the IOTCWorking Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB16) with areview of the status of the information available on non-targeted, associated and dependent species ofIOTC fisheries, termed ‘Bycatch’. Bycatchhas 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 papercovers data on sharks2, seabirds, marine turtles, marine mammalsand other bycatchin the IOTC Secretariat databases as of 16July 2020.This document summarises the current information received for speciesor species groups other than the 16 IOTC species listed in the IOTC Agreement, in accordance with relevant Resolutionsadopted 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.