Report of the Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (WGBYC)
The Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (WGBYC) met in Copenhagen at ICES Headquarters between 1 and 5 February 2016. The meeting was chaired by Marjorie Lyssikatos (USA) and was attended by seventeen members from 12 nations.
Since the commencement of WGBYC in 2009, the WG has been collating, storing and summarizing annual data reported by European member states (MS) affected by Reg-ulation 812/2004 (Reg. 812). This has resulted in the development of a WGBYC database that currently stores nine years (2006–2014) of data on fishing effort, dedicated monitoring effort and observed bycatch of cetaceans (and increasingly of other protected species) as reported to the European Commission (EC) by MS affected by Reg. 812. However, WGBYC’s ability to evaluate the magnitude of bycatch mortality of cetaceans and other protected species or species of possible concern continues to be hampered by limited availability of accurate total fishing effort from relevant European waters for gear types covered by Reg. 812. Consequently there continues to be considerable uncertainty in the representativeness of total fishing effort reported in MS Reg. 812 reports submitted to the EC. WGBYC continues to highlight the inconsistent subission and content of annual reports provided by some MS and the shortcomings of Reg. 812 to accurately reflect the magnitude of cetacean bycatch in European fisheries (ICES, 2014a).
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee