2018 - 2022
The impact of fisheries on non-target, highly mobile species, including sea turtles, marine mammals, elasmobranchs, and seabirds are known to include both trophic/ecosystem impacts and direct interactions (mortality, disturbance, and human conflicts). Bycatch (the incidental capture of non-target/non-commercial species) is a key conservation issue in the Mediterranean basin and particularly affects vulnerable and highly mobile species.
To fill knowledge gaps on priority species (marine mammals, sea turtles, elasmobranchs, and seabirds) incidentally caught by fishers, in order to prioritize mitigation actions.
In order to tackle bycatch of highly mobile and vulnerable species, it is imperative that 1) information is gathered on the fisheries operating within the Mediterranean, and 2) that the movements and hotspot areas of vulnerable species are identified and understood and 3) the two types of information on fishing and species movements are overlaid in space and time and key areas to focus future bycatch work are identified.
Objectives / results
Expand the state of knowledge of these vulnerable species’ (marine mammals, sea turtles elasmobranchs, and seabirds) distribution, range, migratory routes, habitat use.
Compile existing data sources, carry out a gap analysis, and acquire new data before identifying new important areas for biodiversity for each species (potential KBAs, IMMAs, IBAS, EBSAs, CCHs…etc.).