Managing by-catch and discards: how much progress are we making and how can we do better?
There appears to be considerable potential for further reduction in global by-catch. This reduction is most likely to be achieved by focusing even greater attention on the technical, regulatory and social approaches that are currently practiced. With respect to the technical approaches, meta-analysis indicates that overall reductions in by-catch of between 25% and 64% could be achieved if global fishing fleets could match somewhere between the minimum and median performance of gear modifications used in experimental studies. If such benefits are to be delivered, however, engaging fishers more comprehensively in solving the problems will be essential. Further developing legislative and institutional arrangements will also assist. However, notwithstanding the potential gains that can be achieved, it must be recognized that careful analysis will often be required to ensure that a proposed measure will achieve the desired objective at an acceptable cost.