ICES-FAO Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB; outputs from 2021)
The Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) discusses and reviews research and practices of fishing technology and fish behaviour in relation to commercial and survey gears, and provides guidance for management including, inter alia, the impacts of fishing on the environment. The working group is jointly supported by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which have fostered a fruitful working relationship in an international forum. WGFTFB also collaborates with the Working Group on Fisheries, Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST) to facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and to foster cooperation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group did not meet physically in 2020 and 2021. Whereas the 2020 meeting was cancelled, the 2021 group meeting was conducted solely online (organized by the planned host IMR Bergen/Norway). As originally scheduled for the 2020 meeting in Bergen/Norway, the current meeting was a joint meeting with the Working Group on Fisheries, Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST).
The working group’s 2021 meeting included several plenum sessions and a Joint Workshop on Fishing Technology, Acoustics and Behaviour (JFTAB) with WGFAST.
The three Topic Groups examined issues relating to passive gear, especially as it pertains to bycatch of protected species, the use of artificial lights for bycatch mitigation, and bycatch mitigation in large pelagic fisheries.
In addition to the work conducted during the meeting, this document also contains the national reports describing activities in different countries. National reports are structured to give an overview of current and planned activities in the institutes and organizations of the county that are active in research in fishing gear and fish behaviour. They are an important tool to stimulate collaborative research by highlighting research themes and sharing of ideas that other countries might also benefit from. Current national reports cover a broad field of gear technology research, including research related to bycatch reduction of target and bycatch species (including ETP-species - endangered, threatened and protected species), minimizing the effect on the marine environment, pollution and energy efficiency. In addition to classical gear technology approaches, several projects are presented that focus on techniques, such as computer vision.
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