Report of the Workshop to Review and Advise on Seabird Bycatch (WKBYCS) [report]

An ICES-convened Workshop to Review and Advise on Seabird Bycatch (WKBYCS) met from 14 to18 October 2013 at ICES HQ, Copenhagen. Chaired by Jim Reid (UK). Ten participants, invited either by ICES Secretariat or the Chair, attended the meeting. The objective of the meeting was to consider three Terms of Reference relating to seabird bycatch in European waters, including the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. This report includes three chapters that address each Term of Reference. In support
more » ... f a proposed EC Plan of Action to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in fisheries, the ICES Working Group on Seabird Ecology (WGSE) has considered and reported on seabird bycatch in commercial fisheries on four previous occasions from 2008 to 2011. Following publication of the Action Plan in 2012, an updated, regional-ised review and summary of research on seabird bycatch undertaken since the earlier reviews is now presented here, although reference to older material is made where appropriate. This shows that the incidental bycatch of seabirds in most fishing gears persists throughout European waters, including the Baltic Sea, the North Atlantic, the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. There is some geographical variation in patterns of bycatch that result from fishing effort in the various métiers as well as the distributions of seabird species. Most new information comes from the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, with little information available from the Black Sea. Set gillnets catch possibly unsustainably large numbers of diving birds in the Baltic, whereas longlines pose a particular problem for predominantly surface-feeding shearwaters in the Mediterranean. The issue of what actually constitutes a bycatch "problem" is discussed. The first step in defining a problem needs to be an assessment of the size of the bycatch in the fisheries of interest, and the necessary and desirable metrics that contribute to this assessment are identified and reiterated from previous initiatives. Defining a s [...]
doi:10.17895/ fatcat:nx3jv4tphbcrtfdwudidw4b7de