IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation is participating in several workshops for the Project “Understanding Mediterranean multi-taxa ‘bycatch’ of vulnerable species and testing mitigation – A collaborative approach” held in Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. The aim of these workshops is to prepare the By-catch monitoring program and discussions on the implementation of the observation program and aspects of collaboration between the different partners and stakeholders.
The incidental capture of vulnerable species in fishing gear (also known generically as ‘bycatch’) is a key threat in the Mediterranean for a number of taxonomic groups, including sea turtles, cetaceans, seals, seabirds, and sharks as well as rays. The project “Understanding Mediterranean multi-taxa ‘bycatch’ of vulnerable species and testing mitigation - a collaborative approach (M4*)“ (Bycatch project) aims to support Mediterranean countries, and specifically Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey, to identify and test measures to reduce impact of fisheries on these marine key species and to develop and implement standardized data collection of bycatch across the Mediterranean.
Since its start, technical inception meetings and training workshops for observers on board of fishing vessels have been carried out in Morocco as well as in Tunisia. Coming next will be the training for observers in Turkey in November.
The aim of these workshops were and are to prepare the By-catch monitoring program and the implementation of the observation program in collaboration between the different national and international partners as well as local stakeholders.
The project focuses on three demersal fishing gears: trawl, gillnets and longlines and the information collected over the next year and a half will help to address the current data deficiencies in the collection of data from Mediterranean medium and small scale fisheries.
The project will focus over the next few months on preparing the programme for port-based questionnaires and fishermen self-sampling.