MSC works on bycatch mitigation tool

24 Nov 2014
The Bycatch Information Exchange will benefit fisheries. Credit: Steven Fruitsmaak/CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bycatch Information Exchange will benefit fisheries. Credit: Steven Fruitsmaak/CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is working with New England Aquarium to develop an online tool that will help share information and ideas about the mitigation and avoidance of unwanted catch.

MSC says the Bycatch Information Exchange will benefit fisheries that are being assessed against its Fisheries Standards 2.0 since the recently updated standard requires fisheries to consider options for minimising mortality of unwanted catches. A fishery will need to adopt a new measure if it is found to be more effective at minimising the unwanted catch mortality, and is practical and not too expensive to implement.

"Minimising unwanted catch to lowest achievable levels is a core part of the MSC standard and, through certification, fisheries are able to demonstrate a commitment to lessening their overall impact on the marine environment,” said Stephanie Good, fisheries assessment manager, MSC.

An online bycatch information tool could be accessed by fishers, fisheries managers, researchers, funders, Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) providers, environmental NGOs and those interested in bycatch mitigation and avoidance in general.

Now, the MSC is calling on anyone with an interest in fisheries and fisheries management to take part in a survey to help develop the tool. The deadline to take part is 30 November 2014.

Once developed, the Bycatch Information Exchange will provide an interactive web-based platform that includes a searchable database of bycatch mitigation and avoidance measures and techniques, with associated summary information, contacts, links to any papers or reports, and possibly reviews. 

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