Identifying Bycatch Levels and Trends in U.S. Fisheries

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 8:00 AM
Conway (The Marriott Little Rock)
Lee Benaka , Office of Science & Technology, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD
NMFS' first National Bycatch Report (NBR), published in 2011, provided detailed bycatch estimates for 81 fisheries, 480 fish stocks, and 94 protected species, based on 2005 data.  The NBR also created perfomance tracking tools, including a tier system for fisheries monitoring, and identified a national bycatch ratio for fish (0.17).  

NMFS now has implemented a fully functioning NBR Database System and is preparing an update to the first NBR.  This update to the first edition of the NBR should be published online by the end of 2013.  The NBR first edition update will again provide detailed bycatch estimates, this time based on 2010 data.  The first edition update also will include data for newly observed fisheries, as well as bycatch estimates for Southwestern U.S. fisheries (which could not be included in the NBR first edition).

NMFS plans to create another update in 2015, based on 2013 data.  NMFS will follow this up with a comprehensive report in 2017 that will synthesize all years of data presented since the initial report in 2011.  The comprehensive report in 2017 also will update NBR performance measures, summarize progress on NBR recommendations, and provide updated recommendations for improving bycatch data and estimation.

The U.S. National Bycatch Report should serve as a cornerstone, aiding NMFS in meeting its bycatch reduction mandates and stewardship obligations by identifying trends in bycatch, guiding policy, and setting priorities for bycatch data collection.