Report of the Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (WGBYC 2012), 7–10 February 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark

The Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species met in Copenhagen at ICES headquarters between 7st and 10 February 2012. The broad aim of the meeting is to collate and review recent information on the by-catch of protected species, especially under the requirements of EC Regulation 812/2004, to coordinate bycatch monitoring and bycatch mitigation trials and to dis-seminate and review information on methodologies associated with these topics. The Working Group reviewed and commented on EU Member States’ reports under council regulation 812/2004, in order to review the status of information on recent bycatch estimates and to assess the extent of the implementation of bycatch mitigation measures the reports were reviewed. Reports from 17 member states indicated extrapolated minimum estimates of bycatch for 2010 of about 870 specimens. The species involved are striped dolphin, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and habour porpoise. However, estimates are still very patchy, and several EU member states have not fulfilled their monitoring obligations. Bycatch monitoring was judged to be less than optimally directed in many cases. The observer effort may not be representative of the fleet effort and any extrapolated numbers derived solely in this report should therefore be treated with care. The WG reviewed recent bycatch mitigation trials, including trials of gillnet modifications and experiments that attempt to quantify the effect of pingers on porpoise dis-placement. Implementation of bycatch mitigation measures was also found to be patchy, with few EU member states able to provide unequivocal confirmation that the obligations under Regulation 812/2004 for pinger deployment are being met. The WG continued to develop a streamlined and effective database for the collation, storage and analysis of European bycatch monitoring and fishing effort data for those fishing sectors where bycatch monitoring is mandated under Regulations 812/2004. WGBYC reviewed five marine fish species that are listed in at least one of the Annexes of the Habitats Directive. Despite the limited analysis the group was able to carry out, it was concluded that national DCF sampling and landings data contain valuable data about the bycatch of at least shads.
How to cite
ICES (2012). Report of the Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (WGBYC 2012), 7–10 February 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2011/ACOM:28.

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