Achieving greater reductions in marine mammal bycatch in South American gillnet fisheries


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
9 am - 5 pm

Conveners: Tim Werner, Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction, New England Aquarium, USA; Kike Crespo, CENPAT, Argentina

Purpose: Gillnet bycatch continues to be the most immediate threat to many endangered marine animals worldwide, including a large number of small cetaceans and pinnipeds. In a few areas, acoustic pingers and time-area closures have improved the situation, but when considering the scale of the problem progress has largely been elusive, especially in small-scale artisanal fisheries.

This workshop will examine different courses of action that can lead to greater progress in reducing bycatch of threatened marine mammals in gillnet fisheries, both industrial an non-industrial. Put simply, we want to prevent species such as the franciscana and Chilean dolphin sharing the fate of the baiji or even the vaquita, while respecting the interests of fishermen to maintain productive livelihoods for themselves, their families, and their communities.

This workshop represents a logical progression from two previous international workshops. The first, held in Woods Hole, USA, reviewed the various techniques applied for reducing marine mammal bycatch in gillnet fisheries: acoustic deterrents, non-acoustic gear techniques, time-area closures, and gear switching (exchanging gillnets for another type of fishing gear). Also in 2011, a second international workshop was held during the Society for Marine Mammology's Biennial Meeting in Tampa, USA, during which participants from around the world discussed their experiences and voiced priorities for achieving greater progress in reducing bycatch of marine mammals in gillnets. One recommendation from that meeting was to address this challenge at regional forums, such as SOLAMAC.

Goal: Define a process for achieving major marine mammal bycatch reductions in South American gillnet fisheries.  



Workshop Description, Agenda, and Participants