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INSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable Fish

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The 16th Session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) was held in Gosier (Guadeloupe, France) from 20-24 June 2016. It was attended by representatives from 28 member countries, including the European Commission for the European Union, as well as observers from sub-regional fisheries organisations, cooperation agencies and civil society.
Commissioner Vella gave the EU Fisheries Ministers a preview of the fishing limits to be applied in 2017. He stressed that our fisheries are making good progress towards sustainable management, but nevertheless we must keep up the effort to be able to comply with our common objectives and deadlines. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to move slowly but surely towards sustainable fishing levels.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place in Luxembourg on 27 and 28 June 2016. The Commission will be represented by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella and Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Evaluation of the state of knowledge concerning by-catches of cetaceans

Study published 30/10/2000
Final Report
Tender No XIV/1999/01 Lot 7
(31/12/99 - 31/10/00)



Prepared by:

Ms. Nicky Spencer
Dr. M. Begoña Santos Vázquez
Dr. Graham J. Pierce
Department of Zoology
University of Aberdeen
Tillydrone Avenue
AB24 2TZ


The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not in any way purport to represent the position of the European Commission.

Summary pdf - 12 KB [12 KB]


Acronyms used in the text pdf - 19 KB [19 KB]

1. Introduction: description and scope of the project pdf - 28 KB [28 KB]

    1.1. Introduction

    1.2. Project participants

    1.3. Project objectives

    1.4. Description of work undertaken

2. Data on by-catch pdf - 314 KB [314 KB]

    2.1. Fishing gear leading to cetacean by-catch

        2.1.1. Passive fishing gear

        2.1.2. Trawls

        2.1.3. Driftnets

        2.1.4. Other fishing gear

    2.2. Mechanisms of by-catch pdf - 37 KB [37 KB]

        2.2.1. Entanglement in gillnets

        2.2.2. Entanglement in mid-water trawls

        2.2.3. Entanglement in other fishing gear

        2.2.4. Conclusion

    2.3. Measurement of by-catch pdf - 80 KB [80 KB]

        2.3.1. Diagnosis of by-catch as cause of death

        2.3.2. By-catch estimation methods

        2.3.3. Analysis of statistical power

    2.4. Published data on by-catch rates pdf - 56 KB [56 KB]

        2.4.1. NE Atlantic

   North Sea, Baltic Sea and Swedish coastal waters

   Celtic Sea and the Western Approaches


        2.4.2. NW Atlantic

   Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy

   Gulf of St. Lawrence and Greenland

    2.5. Impact of by-catch and implications for small cetacean populations pdf - 35 KB [35 KB]

            2.5.1. Population survey methods

            2.5.2. North Sea, Baltic Sea and Swedish coastal waters

            2.5.3. Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches

            2.5.4. Mediterranean

            2.5.5. Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy

            2.5.6. Conclusion

3. By-catch management pdf - 21 KB [21 KB]

    3.1. Development and application of by-catch reduction devices pdf - 38 KB [38 KB]

        3.1.1. Gillnets

   Passive Acoustic Reflectors

   Active Acoustic Devices (Pingers)

        3.1.2. Mid-water trawls

   Excluder Devices

        3.1.3. Conclusion

    3.2. Current management of by-catch pdf - 22 KB [22 KB]

        3.2.1. By-catch management in the NW Atlantic: Case Study

   US MMPA: in theory

   US MMPA: in practise

4. Legislation pdf - 396 KB [396 KB]

    4.1. Current regional and global legislation for the conservation of cetaceans

        4.1.1. ACCOBAMS

        4.1.2. ASCOBANS

        4.1.3. Habitats Directive

        4.1.4. Barcelona Convention

    4.2. International Fisheries Law

        4.2.1. CFP

        4.2.2. UNCLOS

        4.2.3. FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries

    4.3. Sanctuaries and Protected Areas

    4.4. The situation in other areas: the US MMPA

    4.5. Conclusion

5. Recommendations pdf - 31 KB [31 KB]

    5.1. The options

    5.2. Recommendations

        5.2.1. Funding

        5.2.2. Legislative framework required

        5.2.3. Determining the extent of the problem: monitoring programmes

        5.2.4. Determining ways to alleviate the problem: mitigation measures

        5.2.5. Assurance of co-operation from fishermen

6. References pdf - 64 KB [64 KB]

Appendix I List of projects contacted for information pdf - 12 KB [12 KB]

Appendix II Table of gear specifications pdf - 27 KB [27 KB]

Appendix III List of websites referenced in the text pdf - 13 KB [13 KB]

Appendix IV Sampling units used to measure by-catch pdf - 12 KB [12 KB]

Appendix V By-catch data table and location map pdf - 33 KB [33 KB]

Appendix VI Overview of cetacean by-catches, fishing gear and area (CETASEL project) pdf - 37 KB [37 KB]

Appendix VII Cetacean distribution maps pdf - 460 KB [460 KB]

Appendix VIII Abundance estimates as recorded by SCANS pdf - 65 KB [65 KB]

Appendix IX US MMPA Fishery categories pdf - 43 KB [43 KB]

Appendix X Summary of current legislation pdf - 31 KB [31 KB]

Appendix XI Example of logbook format pdf - 8 KB [8 KB]

Appendix XII Proposal for modification of gillnets pdf - 230 KB [230 KB]