Chapter 17 - Bycatch reduction

Melvin EF, Wolfaardt A, Crawford R, et al (2023) Chapter 17 - Bycatch reduction. In: Young L, VanderWerf E (eds) Conservation of Marine Birds. Academic Press, pp 457–496

Given that over 1 million seabirds are estimated to be killed incidentally in fishing operations each year and at-sea mortality poses the greatest threat to many seabird species and populations, reducing the bycatch of seabirds is a paramount priority of seabird conservation efforts. This chapter reviews methodological approaches to determine the bycatch-related risk posed to seabirds from fisheries and recommends best practice mitigation to reduce bycatch in longline, trawl, gillnet, and purse seine fisheries. The challenges and incentives associated with the adoption and use of seabird bycatch mitigation measures in individual fisheries are also considered. We also provide five case studies of fisheries in which seabird bycatch was dramatically reduced, as well as thoughts on measuring success and the future directions of seabird-fisheries conservation efforts.