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

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


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.



Acronyms used in the text

1. Introduction: description and scope of the project

    1.1. Introduction

    1.2. Project participants

    1.3. Project objectives

    1.4. Description of work undertaken

2. Data on by-catch

    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

        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

        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

        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

            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

    3.1. Development and application of by-catch reduction devices

        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

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

   US MMPA: in theory

   US MMPA: in practise

4. Legislation

    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

    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

Appendix I List of projects contacted for information

Appendix II Table of gear specifications

Appendix III List of websites referenced in the text

Appendix IV Sampling units used to measure by-catch

Appendix V By-catch data table and location map

Appendix VI Overview of cetacean by-catches, fishing gear and area (CETASEL project)

Appendix VII Cetacean distribution maps

Appendix VIII Abundance estimates as recorded by SCANS

Appendix IX US MMPA Fishery categories

Appendix X Summary of current legislation

Appendix XI Example of logbook format

Appendix XII Proposal for modification of gillnets