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Bycatch: from emotion to effective natural resource management
Alverson, D.L.; Hughes, S.E. (1996). Bycatch: from emotion to effective natural resource management. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish. 6(4): 443-462.
In: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. Chapman & Hall: London. ISSN 0960-3166, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    By catch; Fishery management; Mortality

Authors  Top 
  • Alverson, D.L.
  • Hughes, S.E.

    Although bycatch has been an acknowledged component of fishery management for many years, its explosive growth as a major management issue has occurred over the past decade. Emergence of the bycatch issue can be traced to increasing world competition for the ocean's fishery resources and the rapid rise of the conservation and environmental movement in recent years. Bycatch has in the past several years been equated to ‘waste’, non-selective fishing methods that threaten non-target species and degradation of ocean ecosystems. Although some important steps have been taken to abate bycatch, frequently the problem is not perceived as a component of fishery management, e.g. establishing bycatch mortality rates and evaluating their consequences upon affected populations. Fishery scientists often estimate levels of bycatch, but the overall consequences of discard mortality resulting from the complex of fisheries operating in a region are frequently unknown and speculative. The sum of fishery-induced mortalities occurring as a result of harvesting often involves a significant number of fish in addition to catch and discard. An ICES study group has characterized fishing mortality as the aggregate of all catch mortalities including discard, illegal fishing and misreporting. It is unlikely that managers will, in the near future, have a full accounting of ‘unobserved’ fishing mortality. Progress toward identifying and measuring such mortalities is receiving increasing attention.

    The authors suggest and provide an example of a matrix-type analysis for recording bycatch and other fishing mortalities. The matrix presentation would allow managers to evaluate various fishery-related mortality factors and their importance in developing management strategies.

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