Management information in the BMIS provides context and rationale for the development of bycatch conservation and management measures. We have devised categories for references, to make searching management information easier. The list will evolve over time. Management references can be filtered according to category name, year, species groups, gear type (PS or LL), and also by keyword searches such as RFMO acronyms or author names.
Bycatch interaction rates are estimated with simple analyses of bycatch data, revealing, for example, how many sea turtles are caught per 1000 hooks. Literature in this section examines broad-scale patterns in data on bycatch interactions with fishing fleets.
References included in this category discuss broadscale threats to bycatch species from human activities, including fisheries, and may also discuss mitigation of identified threats. These studies often analyse interactions between fisheries and bycatch, and identify areas (‘hotspots’) to target for threat mitigation. Some papers discuss threats in terms of percentages of populations affected, such as how many seabirds are killed in longline fisheries each year.
At present, bycatch data collected across tuna RFMOs is not collected in a consistent format, i.e., there is variation in the required data fields for fishing trips/sets. However, harmonisation of bycatch data is progressing through initiatives arising from the Joint tRFMO Expert Technical Working Group on Bycatch. Data harmonisation will allow for more comprehensive reporting on the status of bycatch species, assist with the identification of factors that cause or increase bycatch, and evaluate the performance of mitigation methods .
E-monitoring technologies are being trialled onboard vessels in some fisheries for their potential benefits in improving management, reporting, and cost efficiencies [e.g. 1]. They have the potential to ensure data collections are timely, accurate, adaptable to emerging needs, and capable of providing data at a scale that will support management and scientific needs . Furthermore, E-monitoring has the potential to expand the data collected by freeing at-sea observers to concentrate on data fields or tasks that cannot be collected via E-Monitoring.
Literature which contributes to the evaluation of the impacts of management measures and utilisation of mitigation techniques on the economics of fishing. This may be at the vessel, fishery, regional, or global scale.
Literature collated under this category include studies that review fisheries management performance in light of international and national management schemes. For example, references which assess whether bycatch management has been efficient or effective , propose new standards, or identify priority gaps [2,3].
Literature in this section examines broad-scale patterns in the implementation of bycatch mitigation technologies and the effectiveness of these in reducing quantities of bycatch.
The policy and legal framework set by international and national fisheries management instruments informs the bycatch conservation and management policies of RFMOs. References in this category look at the range of instruments and how they impact on management planning. Many also discuss fisheries management performance.
This category includes reports, journal publications and other literature which incorporate static maps of bycatch distributions (species ranges, overlaps with fisheries, nursery and other special habitat areas, foraging hotspots, etc.) and schematics of bycatch interaction rates. Also referenced in the BMIS are online bycatch databases that generate maps such as “The State of the World’s Sea Turtles” (SWOT) global sea turtle data and Birdlife International’s Seabird Tracking database.
References in this category look at communication between marine scientists, policy developers and decision-makers, and how science can be better integrated into the decision-making process for the management of bycatch [e.g. 1].
Sustainable fisheries management requires that bycatch mortality due to fishing activities be accurately estimated and considered in population status assessments and management measures . Quantifying total bycatch mortality requires understanding and accounting for post-release mortality (PRM). Methods to ameliorate PRM are also essential.
Good species identification skills among crew and observers are important for reasons of science (data quality) and compliance (the enforcement of conservation measures). They also enable the use of appropriate safe handling and release procedures.
Bycatch management is becoming increasingly dynamic. Tagging studies, using technologies such as satellite telemetry, collect information on both bycatch and target species to identify and characterize their habitat**. These habitat data can be used with fisheries data, such as effort and bycatch interaction rates, to identify habitat or interaction 'hotspots' and inform management.