Navigation Links
Stanford professor maps by-catch as unintended consequence of global fisheries
Date:3/21/2014

Seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals such as dolphins may not appear to have much in common, other than an affinity for open water. The sad truth is that they are all unintended victims by-catch of intensive global fishing. In fact, accidental entanglement in fishing gear is the single biggest threat to some species in these groups.

A new analysis co-authored by Stanford biology Professor Larry Crowder provides an unprecedented global map of this by-catch, starkly illustrating the scope of the problem and the need to expand existing conservation efforts in certain areas.

"Some of the earliest by-catch issues involved marine mammals taken in purse seines (large nets with floats) and shrimp trawls that drowned sea turtles," said Crowder, who is the science director at the Center for Ocean Solutions and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "The problems were ultimately solved by scientists who clearly defined the problems and by managers and fishermen who sought innovative fishing methods to allow fisheries and protected species to coexist."

During the past half-century, fish hauls around the world have increased from about 19 million tons per year to more than 154 million tons per year. Beyond the problem of overfishing more than 60 percent of sea creatures brought up are classified as overfished or collapsed stocks by-catch can lead to "major changes in ecosystem function and process," the study's authors write. By-catch also damages fishing gear and wastes fishermen's time and money. Accurate data on global by-catch are hard to find because of the need for trained on-ship observers across vast oceans.

To fill the gap, Crowder and Rebecca Lewison, the lead author of the paper and a co-leader of the study, directed a research team that looked at hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, reports and symposia proceedings published between 1990 and 2008 to obtain a global perspective on what kinds of animals were being caught, where they were being caught and the types of gear in which they were trapped. They then compiled all of this information into a single comprehensive map and dataset.

"It highlights the importance of looking at the by-catch issue across different species, fishing gears and countries," said Lewison, an ecology professor at San Diego State University. "When you do that, it makes it clear that to address by-catch, fishing nations need to work together to report and mitigate by-catch. No single country can fix this."

The study revealed by-catch hotspots and gaps in available data, such as the lack of information on small-scale and coastal fisheries and many ocean regions that are heavily fished by commercial fleets. Among the findings:

Marine mammal by-catch is highest in the eastern Pacific and the Mediterranean.

Sea turtle by-catch is most prevalent in the southwest Atlantic, eastern Pacific and Mediterranean oceans.

Seabird by-catch is highest in the southwest Atlantic and Southern Indian oceans.

Expanding the use of by-catch mitigation tools such as turtle excluder devices is only part of the solution, according to the study's authors. Community engagement is key in less-regulated, small-scale fisheries. To make meaningful headway, researchers and managers need more data on the extent and distribution of global fishing. "Reducing by-catch levels in coastal fisheries sectors will require coordination across national boundaries using integrated approaches that link conservation action with sustaining human livelihoods, incentives and commitment to protecting the environment," the study's authors wrote.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rob Jordan, Stanford
rjordan@stanford.edu
650-721-1881
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
2. Keck award enables Carnegie Mellon and Stanford to dramatically expand crowdsourced RNA design
3. Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say Stanford and Purdue researchers
4. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
5. Americas clean energy policies need a reality check, say Stanford researchers
6. Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds
7. Stanford scientists document fragile land-sea ecological chain
8. Stanford researchers help predict the oceans of the future with a mini-lab
9. Stanford marine biologist Barbara Block wins Rolex Award for Enterprise
10. Stanford scientists find molecule to starve lung cancer and improve ventilator recovery
11. Stanford researchers calculate global health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Stanford professor maps by-catch as unintended consequence of global fisheries
(Date:1/13/2016)... ALBANY, New York , January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to ... mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 ... from 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... , Jan. 11, 2016 Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced that its ClearPad ® TouchView ... products won two separate categories in the 8 th ... and Best Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ® TDDI ... simplified supply chain, thinner devices, brighter displays and borderless ...
(Date:1/8/2016)... MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... sensor-based diagnostic products, today announced the closing of a $9 ... investors.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate ... device for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. ... after receiving CE Mark approval. The device,s introduction has been ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 Australian-US drug discovery and ... today the appointment of a new Chairman, Mr John ... , effective immediately. James Garner , has ... Director and former Acting CEO, Mr Iain Ross , ... Director. --> James Garner , has also been ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... GC-MS and triple quad LC-MS, host live demos and poster sessions, and present ... and exhibition. The conference takes place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia and MENLO PARK, ... Inc. (OTCQX: DMPI) ("DelMar" and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical ... therapies, today announced that it will present at the ... on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST in ... Jeffrey Bacha , DelMar,s president and CEO, will provide an ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or ... of biopharmaceutical products in China , ... of directors received on February 4, 2016 a preliminary ... consortium comprised of PKU V-Ming ( Shanghai ... CICC Qianhai Development ( Shenzhen ) Fund ...
Breaking Biology Technology: