Mar 21 2014

Oceana bycatch report first salvo in next NGO campaign to restrict fisheries

Seafood News

Oceana has released a report on the nine dirties US fisheries in terms of bycatch to great media fanfare. “Anything can be bycatch,” said Dominique Cano-Stocco, campaign director at Oceana. “Whether it’s the thousands of sea turtles that are caught to bring you shrimp or the millions of pounds of cod and halibut that are thrown overboard after fishermen have reached their quota, bycatch is a waste of our ocean’s resources. Bycatch also represents a real economic loss when one fisherman trashes another fisherman’s catch.”

“Hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales, sharks, sea birds, sea turtles and fish needlessly die each year as a result of indiscriminate fishing gear,” said Amanda Keledjian, report author and marine scientist at Oceana. “It’s no wonder that bycatch is such a significant problem, with trawls as wide as football fields, longlines extending up to 50 miles with thousands of baited hooks and gillnets up to two miles long. The good news is that there are solutions – bycatch is avoidable.”

This is not the language of scientists seeking to lower bycatch. It is a call to arms to shut down fisheries.

Bycatch issues in fisheries are not new. US fishery managers have spent huge amounts of time addressing bycatch.

For example, one of the key functions of fisheries observers is to accurately record and document bycatch, so that impacts on stock are understood and included in fishery management decisions.

Read the full article here.

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