Wherever there
is fishing, there is bycatch. Unintentionally, commercial fishing activities often
catch species or individuals that are not wanted by fishers. The modern mechanisms
to fish are very efficient to catch the desired fish but also anything else in
its path; a huge amount of marine life including vulnerable animals such as sea turtles, sharks and
rays. In the bottom, trawling can also damage sea-bed habitats causing
conflicts with coastal small-scale fisheries. All of them are hauled up with
the catch, and, consequently,
after catching the undesirable species, they have to be discarded overboard
often get several injured and die as a result of their interactions with the
fishing vessels.

The practice is
mostly driven by political or regulatory factors in which the species cannot be retained due to the
management or quota restrictions. These regulations also dictate the amount of fish (Total
Allowable Catch or quota), the proportion of species and the size of fish
(minimum landing size) that can be landed. Also it is driven by the economic
factors, deciding the species that are no commercial, with a low-value in
markets or because they are in damaged (unlawful activity).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

It is estimated
that over 300,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises die from entanglement
in fishing nets each year (Brian J.
Skerry,National Geographic Stock / WWF, 2017) making this the single
largest cause of mortality for small cetaceans.

Nevertheless, in this day and age, marine life are
valuable to society and thus damage from bycatch is collectively borne by
society. This has motivated governments, conservation organizations
and the general public worldwide to get involved in finding effective tools to
reduce the volume of bycatch associated with commercial fishing.

Fishing industry leaders increasingly realize the need
to reduce this phenomenon. Proven solutions do exist, such as modifying fishing
gear so that fewer non-target species are caught or can escape. In many cases,
these modifications are simple and inexpensive, and often come from fishers
themselves.