Bycatch mitigation tools: selecting fisheries, setting limits, and modifying gear
In the early 1990s bycatch- otherwise known as the incidental capture of nontarget species-was described as the issue of the decade . More than 10 years later, the problem is far from being solved and the issue remains firmly on both the fisheries and conservation agendas. Mitigating bycatch has to date been tackled mainly on a species-by-species or, at best, a gear specific basis. This is, in part, a reflection of the need for different approaches to manage the individual environmental issues found in each fishery and with each species. To be sure, and through using similar tools, markedly different approaches are required in order to mitigate the bycatch of commercial species, as compared to non-commercially viable protected species. Marine wildlife species fit into, and indeed dominate, this latter category. It is the bycatch of these sea bird, cetacean, pinniped and marine turtle species that this paper is primarily concerned with.