French Bluefin Tuna Longline Fishery Bycatch Programme
During the last decade, particular attention has been paid worldwide to the problem of bycatch and discards in fisheries. Collaborative research between fishermen and scientists is important to fisheries management. Partnerships with commercial longline fishermen were developed to enable them to participate in two research projects in order to integrate their information, experience and expertise. These programmes, financed by the fishing industry and regional councils were designed to describe the activity of the fisheries, to assess the scale of fishery effects on the various taxa, to study the ecology and explore spatial population genetic structure in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) and sting rays (Pteroplatytrygon violacea) and finally to propose mitigation measures to reduce impacts on elasmobranchs, sea birds and sea turtles. Communication, education, post-implementation monitoring and long-standing collaboration are the key factors to success. This presentation shows the progress realized to date.