International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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ICES/ProByFish Workshop on identification of target and bycatch species (WKTARGET; outputs from 2019 meeting)

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

This ICES workshop was planned and arranged in collaboration with the EU project ProByFish, from the EASME tender EASME/EMFF/2017/022.

“Target species” and “bycatch species” are common denominations in fisheries. However, while these concepts make qualitative sense for describing mixed fisheries, they are difficult to define quantitatively and the allocation of one species into one or another category remain largely subjective, and may vary from fisheries to fisheries, or even from trip to trip. There are no established and standardized method to define these concepts objectively.

The objective of the workshop was thus to provide a scientifically based categorization of the different species in the catch according to the degree to which they are targeted by the fishery (”target”, “hybrid”, “valued bycatch” and “collateral bycatch”) and to provide a tool which can be used to provide a quick overview of the importance of a given species as target, valued bycatch and collateral bycatch in different fleets.

The necessary analysis is based on catch data (including wanted and unwanted catches i.e. former landings and discards) as most of the collateral bycatch does not appear in the landings statistics. The analyses are performed at the finest possible scale to avoid any false technical interaction created by data aggregation.

The Workshop focused on developing methods, based on trip data, to identify ”target”, “hybrid”, “valued bycatch” and “collateral bycatch” for each of the areas Bay of Biscay, Celtic Sea, English Channel, and North Sea, and the degree to which these stocks are concentrated across fleets, métier’s, subareas and seasons.

ProByFish Final Report:




Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • FRSG

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Youen Vermard

Contributors (Authors)

Paul Bouch; Thomas Brunel; Anne-Sophie Cornou; Jochen Depestele; Laurent Dubroca; Dorleta Garcia; Kirsten Birch Håkansson; Stéphanie Mahevas; Claire Moore; Ana Ribeiro Santos; Clara Ulrich; Julia Wischnewski



Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. ICES/ProByFish Workshop on identification of target and bycatch species (WKTARGET). ICES Scientific Reports. 2:21. 53 pp.