Unintended victims


A global map to assess the impact of fishing on unintended victims, or by-catch, has been created. The map is based on hundreds of studies published during 1990 to 2008, and takes into consideration the kind of animals caught as by-catch, the gears they were trapped in and the areas of high incidence. The study shows that marine mammal by-catch (such as dolphin) is the highest in the eastern Pacific and the Mediterranean ocean, while sea turtles are caught mostly in the southwest Atlantic, eastern Pacific and the Mediterranean oceans. It also shows that sea-birds by-catch is the highest in southwest Atlantic and Southern Indian oceans. Knowing by-catch hot spots would help in formulating better conservation strategies. 


Down To Earth, April 2014