Posted by Mike Crispino
26 December 2012
It’s the season for giving and sharing, and during December scientists Dr. Gala Moreno and Dr. Jefferson Murua hosted a series of ISSF Skippers Workshops with captains of the Spanish purse seine fleet at AZTI-Tecnalia in Sukarrieta (Spain). In total seven meetings were conducted with skippers and one with ship-owners to address the best solutions to reduce bycatch in tuna purse seine fisheries.
Murua reported that, “We worked closely with the two Spanish purse seine associations ANABAC and OPAGAC, and the companies they represent, to reach as many skippers as possible. Over eighty of them joined us! The ISSF Skippers Workshops are very much aligned with the Code of Good Practices recently signed voluntarily by these two associations. That document specifies a series of commitments aiming to improve the sustainability of the fishery and should be a big step forwards reducing bycatch.”
“During the workshops, skippers contributed with their unmatched experience and knowledge in all oceans. The nine purse seine companies participating comprise over sixty super-seiners operating in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Fishers were very interested in learning how the ISSF Research Cruises are testing new bycatch solutions, such as the escape windows for sharks in the net. In addition, they showed great support for the move towards non-entangling (biodegradable if possible) FADs and improving release practices on board.”
For the past couple of years the ISSF Skippers’ Workshops – and now the Skippers’ Guidebook – provide an opportunity to share knowledge on ways to reduce bycatch. Something we’ll continue to work on in 2013.