Public domain Bycatch Data
This page makes publically available tables of aggregated bycatch data and associated effort and observer data for the WCPFC (using the Bycatch Data Exchange Protocol, BDEP, approach).
A meeting of invited experts, convened in January 2015 in Keelung, Taiwan, to progress elements of the Work Plan agreed by the Joint Tuna RFMOs Technical Working Group-Bycatch, recommended that an existing data exchange format be used as the basis for summarizing data in each of the five tuna RFMOs (tRFMOs). Compiling basic metadata across the tuna RFMOs aims at i) understanding and harmonizing tuna RFMO bycatch data holdings; ii) reviewing and improving bycatch data collection and reporting programmes; and iii) planning for intra- and inter-RFMO analysis of bycatch rates and mitigation effectiveness (Anon. 2015a).
A proposed t-RFMO bycatch data exchange protocol was outlined in Clarke et al. 2015 and consists of i) a summary of the total fishing effort and total observed effort by area, fishery and year; and ii) a summary for the same strata (area, fishery and year) of observed captures, mortalities and live releases of various taxa known to be vulnerable to interactions with tuna fisheries. It is understood that a lack of taxonomic identification, spatial resolution constraints, scarce data holdings and other technical and policy issues may limit the data that some t-RFMOs can provide. Nevertheless, initiating a flow of summarized information and taking stock of existing datasets is an important first step toward harmonization and improved management (Clarke et al. 2015).
The original concept of a Bycatch Data Exchange Protocol (BDEP) amongst the t-RFMOs was raised at SC11, noting that CCSBT already an internal BDEP procedure in place (Clarke et al. 2015). SC11 agreed to proceed with the WCPFC component of a BDEP, subject to resourcing from the ABNJ-GEF Tuna project, and subject to WCPFC data confidentiality rules (by paras. 654-657 of the SC11 Summary Report). Subsequently IOTC has also agreed to trial the BDEP, with the Secretariat filling out the template and presenting it at the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch in September 2016.
In August 2016, an SC12 paper (Williams et al., 2016) provided, for the first time, tables of bycatch data according to the BDEP for years 2013-2015. SC12 recommended that these BDEP tables be published as public domain information on the WCPFC web site (at http://www.wcpfc.int/tuna-fishery-data) on an annual basis. Updates to the BDEP tables made in July 2020 are described in Williams, 2020.
Public domain Bycatch Data
EXCEL files containing the latest WCPFC Bycatch data (2013-2020) and reference information are available for the following:
- Total fishing and observed effort per year and fishery
Total fishing and observed effort per year and fishery, including additional non-ROP observer data held by SPC
- Observed and estimated captures/mortalities for key bycatch species groups by year for the WCPFC LONGLINE fishery
- Observed and estimated captures/mortalities for key bycatch species groups by year for the WCPFC PURSE SEINE fishery
- Observed and estimated captures/mortalities for key bycatch species groups by year and area for the WCPFC LONGLINE fishery
- Observed and estimated captures/mortalities for key bycatch species groups by year and area for the WCPFC PURSE SEINE fishery
These data files were last updated on the 27th July 2021.
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