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Bycatch of small cetaceans and other marine animals – Review of national reports under Council Regulation (EC) No. 812/2004 and other published documents

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posted on 2015-04-15, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

Reports by EU Member States on the bycatch of marine mammals, observed in conformity with Council Regulation (EC) No. 812/2004, are summarized. An evaluation of the total annual bycatch of harbour porpoises in three assessment units (Celtic  and  Irish  Seas;  North  Sea;  Kattegat  and  Belt  Seas)  indicates  that  levels  are  below  those  thought  to  be  unsustainable,  but  there  are  unknown  amounts  of  bias  in  these  assessments.  No  updated  assessment  was  possible  in  areas where ICES has previously advised that harbour porpoise bycatch is likely to need immediate mitigation measures (NW  Iberia  and  Baltic Sea).    The  lack  of  statutory  reports  from  some major  fishing  nations  compromises  ICES  ability  to  assess  the  overall  impact  of  fisheries  on  small  cetaceans  and  other  marine  animals. ICES  continues  to  advise  that  any  moves to integrate monitoring of the bycatch of protected species in all EU waters within the Data Collection Framework needs very careful consideration of sampling regimes as such monitoring will require significant adjustments from those used to monitor commercial fish bycatch.


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