SWOT Threat Series #1: Fisheries Bycatch

This is the first issue of a new online series on the biggest threats to sea turtles by State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT). This issue has been written by Dr. Nick Pilcher, Marine Research Foundation.

 

Fisheries bycatch is one of the greatest threats to sea turtles worldwide, and yet it is a threat that remains vastly underreported, poorly quantified, and minimally addressed outside of a handful of commercial shrimp trawl and long-line fisheries. Our global turtle conservation community has known this all along, of course, and has been working diligently around the world to understand and quantify bycatch, set and enforce limits, and find solutions that work for the many stakeholders involved.

Most of us are now locked-down, staying home, trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus. While some are faced with pressing financial, health, and lifestyle challenges, many of us also find ourselves with a bit more time on our hands to reflect, to be analytical, and to plan for the future. My humble suggestion is that we use this period as an opportunity to prepare to tackle the threats to sea turtles with renewed vigour when the time comes, starting with a call to revolutionise the way the world’s fisheries operate.

Having been involved with SWOT Report since day one (2004), I have read, contributed to, and enjoyed the report’s consistent coverage of fisheries issues over the years. As thought fodder to our future work on this most important of sea turtle conservation issues, it is my pleasure to share the following selection of past articles related to the theme of fisheries impacts, bycatch, and more.

Here’s hoping that in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic we will have the resources and wherewithal to press for greater, further-reaching, and more effective bycatch reduction efforts – not just for turtles, but for all the species that are collateral victims of fishing.

  1. Hall, M. 2006. Increasing Fishers' Awareness Leads to Decrease in Turtle Bycatch. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 27.
  2. Steiner, T. 2006. Seafood Diet for a Small Planet. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 26.
  3. SWOT Editors. 2006. New Deep-Set Longline Is Smart Gear. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 25.
  4. Peckham, H., Laudino Santillán, J., & Nichols, W. J. 2007. Baja: Fishers Work to Conserve Loggerhead Foraging Grounds. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 17.
  5. Eckert, S. 2007. The Net Gain of working with Fishers to Reduce Bycatch. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 34.
  6. Drews, C. 2008. Progress Report: Fishers Reduce Bycatch in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 34.
  7. Howell, E., Kobayashi, D., Parker, D., Balazs, G., & Polovina, J. 2009. TurtleWatch - Turtle Watch Minimises Clashes between Loggerheads and Longliners. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 4, 36-37.
  8. Gunn, R., & Veenstra, T. 2009. Ghost Nets. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 4, 31-33.
  9. Pilcher, N. J., & Robins, C. 2010. Trials and Tribulations of Turtle Excluder Devices. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 5, 18-21.
  10. Alfaro-Shigueto, J., & Mangel, J. C. 2012. Two-Way Radios Save Turtles and Help Peruvian Fishermen. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 7, 15.
  11. Bourjea, J., Dalleau, M., & Ciccione, S. 2012. Revealing the Secrets of Sea Turtle Migration in the Southwest Indian Ocean. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 7, 10-11.
  12. Ishihara, T., Matsuzawa, Y., Wang, J., & Peckham, H. 2012. Building a Better Pound Net. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 7, 16-17.
  13. Wang, J. H., Barkan, J., Fisler, S., & Swimmer, Y. 2014. Illuminating Innovations in Fisheries Technology Reduce Bycatch. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 9, 26-27.
  14. Wibbels, T., & Bevan, E. 2015. New Riddle in the Kemp's Ridley Saga. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 10, 14-17.
  15. Stelfox, M., Hudgins, J., & Gunn, R. 2016. Action on GhostGear. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 11, 38-39.
  16. Rodriguez Baron, J. M., Williard, A., Abrego, M. E., Tobon, A., Bermudez, D., & Arriatti, Y. 2018. Building Bycatch Solutions from the Ground Up for the East Pacific Leatherback. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 13, 36-37.
  17. Leslie, A., Jacob, T., Fatima, E., Malayilethu, V., Nalovic, M., & Kelle, L. 2018. Why Europe Needs to Adopt Turtle Excluder Devices. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 13, 38-39.
  18. Giffoni, B., Sales, G., Fiedler, F. N., Mendilaharsu, M. L., & Marcovaldi, M. A. 2019. The Continuing Tale of Circle Hooks in Brazil. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 14, 30-32.
  19. Senko, J., Mancini, A., Bailly, M., Christen, J. B., Jenkins, L., & Wang, J. 2020. Do Sea Turtles See the Light? Developing Solar-Powered Illuminated Nets to Reduce Sea Turtle Bycatch. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 15, 8-11.

Stay tuned for more in this series based on “The 5 Biggest Threats to Sea Turtles” 2006. Their Greatest Challenge in 100 Million Years: Facing the Hazards of Humankind. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 5.

 

Last updated on 02 September 2020

Type: 
News item
Threats: 
Bycatch