Exploring new ways to monitor and reduce cetacean bycatch in UK fisheries.
In March of this year, Cefas, ZSL and Defra hosted a unique, collaborative workshop focused on the issue of cetacean bycatch in UK fisheries. The workshop examined existing practices, UK-wide, for cetacean monitoring and bycatch reduction, explored new ideas, and brought together voices from a wide range of stakeholders to identify concrete actions for the future.
Review the agenda here
Using a coherent and coordinated, stakeholder-led approach, the workshop tackled the challenge of both large and small cetacean bycatch in UK waters.
The workshop, held at the Zoological Society of London, brought together fishermen, scientists, engineers, policy makers and NGO’s from around the world. Together, we shared knowledge and experience of how bycatch monitoring and mitigation has successfully been implemented across a range of marine species and how that could be applied to cetacean bycatch in the UK, by:
- Reviewing levels of cetacean bycatch in UK fisheries and methods for monitoring these;
- Exploring examples of bycatch reduction in other taxa and investigate whether these can be adapted for cetaceans;
- Identifying innovative solutions to reduce cetacean bycatch and assessing whether they are practical for UK fishing fleets;
- Envisioning the future for cetacean bycatch mitigation and identifying areas for further research in the UK.
Through a series of presentations, debate, and plenary discussion, the workshop was divided into multiple sessions, including gear modifications, new technologies, real-time reporting, spatial management, industry-led research, and more. Each session led to fruitful discussions on cetacean bycatch, and a set of actions for the future.
Outcomes from the workshop will be available in May.
- Catherine Bell, Senior Policy Advisor, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
- Stuart Hetherington - Senior Marine Biologist, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
- Rob Deaville - Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) Project Manager, Zoological Society of London
- Joanna Barker - Marine and Freshwater Conservation Programme Project Manager, Zoological Society of London
- Milly Oakley - Event Manager, Zoological Society of London
- Katrina Ryan - Director, Mindfully Wired Communications
- Charlotte Tindall - Communications Consultant
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