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Science workshop dives into bycatch mitigation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Grandstaff and Charlie Patterson, +1 202-466-4437
erin@vennsq.com, charlie@vennsq.com

Montpelier, France – 19 October 2012 – The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) continued its global series of bycatch workshops today in Montpelier, France.  This workshop focused on scientists and stakeholders working together to discuss and develop methods and tools to monitor and reduce the ecological impacts of purse seine fishing. Today’s event expanded upon improvements in the design of non-entangling FADs as well as how economic incentives play a role in fisheries management.

The new techniques around the design of non-entangling FADs were tested during at-sea research by ISSF. Bycatch vessel research cruises have allowed scientists to work hand in hand with skippers and their crews to test a variety of techniques to reduce bycatch on purse seine vessels and FAD fisheries.

The workshop in Montpelier follows the symposium EBFMtuna-2012: towards ecosystem-based management of tuna fisheries, which brought together more than 100 scientists and industry experts from 23 countries to explore mitigating impacts of fishing on pelagic ecosystems.

“The symposium in Montpelier put an even greater emphasis on the science behind better fisheries management than previous workshops.” Victor Restrepo said. “The team that gathered in Southern France is a diverse group of experts that each brings their own brand of expertise to the table and were able to speak expertly on a variety of issues while introducing best practices to reduce the ecological impact of tuna fishing.”

Today’s workshop expands on a series designed for fishers in the Philippines, Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Spain, Ghana, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, San Diego and American Samoa. More than 300 vessel crewmembers and fleet representatives have attended one of these workshop, which focus on bycatch mitigation; emphasizing the importance of protecting marine turtles, sharks, small tuna and other non-target species from becoming entangled in nets and instructing attendants on tested methods for handling and releasing animals that do become entangled in the best way to ensure their survival.



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