Gillnet Bycatch of ACAP Species and Ongoing Mitigation Development
Based on foraging ecology and recorded bycatch events, 12 of 31 ACAP species are considered susceptible to capture in gillnets. Entanglements have largely been recorded in driftnets, particularly on the high seas in salmon and squid nets, prior to an international ban on this gear in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Broadly, bycatch in gillnet fisheries is not presently considered to be a major threat to ACAP species; though fisheries operating in the north Pacific, along the Humboldt Current and in the western Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic - especially those utilising driftnets - merit closer monitoring to assess whether this is truly the case. Recent advances have been made in the testing of gillnet mitigation measures, with both net lighting and high contrast net panels showing some promise in reducing bycatch with minimal effects on target catch.