Bycatch and environmental impacts (WP 3)

The objective of WP3 is to assess the effect of technical interactions in the fishing process on yield of target species as well as the effect of the fishery on non-target bycatch species.  

Within task 3.1, the project will identify a range of bycaught populations at risk, based on currently available data, by identifying their sensitivity and susceptibility to specific fisheries. The concepts of sensitivity and susceptibility are already being applied to the management of human activities in the marine environment where the occurrence and magnitude of a pressure is linked to information on the sensitivity of the environment. Adopting a cross sectoral approach to defining the states of and pressures on systems is an obvious first requirement as we move towards implementing an Ecosystem Based Approach to Management.  

Within task 3.2, the project will explore the use of size-based models in management of sensitive fish species in order to identify appropriate indicators. Based on dynamic extensions to the equations presented in Andersen and Beyer (2006), a combined size- and life-history trait model has been parameterised for the North Sea under the EU -IMAGE project. The model is currently mainly focused on interactions of pelagic and demersal teleost fishes and is being used as an operating model to carry out tests of ecosystem indicator performance for use in management strategy evaluation. In the project, the effects of including life-history characteristics of vulnerable fishes, such as elasmobranchs, into the size-based model framework will be tested.  

Within task 3.3, options for protecting non-target species will be evaluated using Management Strategy Evaluation in order to develop robust Robust Management that counteract the two key threats of the Illusion of Certainty and Fallacy of Controllability. In other words, the project will evaluate how to achieve ‘reasonable’ fishery performance (i.e., acceptable success in meeting objectives) even if there is a faulty understanding of the system (e.g., the state of resources and users, the environment and processes of change) and a highly imperfect capability to control resource use. Management options (e.g. monitoring, assessment and regulation) will be evaluated against acceptable success in meeting objectives, including the necessary trade-offs with the maximum sustainable yield for the target species and sustainability for the by caught populations. In particular to determine which fisheries could be certified using MSC criteria now and how remaining fisheries could obtain MSC certification.
27 JANUARY 2022