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New study raises concerns about proposed mitigation strategy for marine bycatch
Date:6/17/2008

Finkelstein said. "Most of the species threatened by bycatch evolved to live long and reproduce slowly. When bycatch kills adults, these populations just aren't capable of making up for it through increased reproduction. It really is about the bycatch."

Another major stumbling block is that bycatch typically involves a large variety of nontarget species, whereas compensatory mitigation actions are likely to affect only one or a few of those species.

"Marine bycatch is not a single-species problem," Finkelstein said. "So many nontarget species are caught in a given fishery that mitigating the effects on one species could lead to a bigger impact on other species."

The researchers also found flaws in the case study of flesh-footed shearwaters used to support the compensatory mitigation strategy in the original paper. But the bulk of the new paper is devoted to a set of five criteria for evaluating any proposals to implement such strategies. The researchers found that compensatory mitigation for marine bycatch is likely to be successful only in a limited number of situations. In many cases, they said, it has the potential to accelerate declines of marine species currently threatened by fisheries bycatch.

"These are complicated situations. We have to be very cautious, especially with critically endangered species, before we adopt a policy that allows continued mortality from bycatch," Finkelstein said.


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Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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