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Defining and estimating global marine fisheries bycatch


  • Davies, R.W.D.
  • Cripps, S.J.
  • Nickson, A.
  • Porter, G.


Unselective fishing catches non-target organisms as 'bycatch'--an issue of critical ocean conservation and resource management concern. However, the situation is confused because perceptions of target and non-target catch vary widely, impeding efforts to estimate bycatch globally. To remedy this, the term needs to be redefined as a consistent definition that establishes what should be considered bycatch. A new definition is put forward as: 'bycatch is catch that is either unused or unmanaged'. Applying this definition to global marine fisheries data conservatively indicates that bycatch represents 40.4 percent of global marine catches, exposing systemic gaps in fisheries policy and management.

Suggested Citation

  • Davies, R.W.D. & Cripps, S.J. & Nickson, A. & Porter, G., 2009. "Defining and estimating global marine fisheries bycatch," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 661-672, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:661-672

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bijwaard, Govert E. & Knapp, Sabine, 2009. "Analysis of ship life cycles--The impact of economic cycles and ship inspections," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 350-369, March.
    2. Mitchell, Ronald B., 1994. "Regime design matters: intentional oil pollution and treaty compliance," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 425-458, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nijdam, Durk & Rood, Trudy & Westhoek, Henk, 2012. "The price of protein: Review of land use and carbon footprints from life cycle assessments of animal food products and their substitutes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 760-770.
    2. Oliver, Shelby & Braccini, Matias & Newman, Stephen J. & Harvey, Euan S., 2015. "Global patterns in the bycatch of sharks and rays," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 86-97.
    3. Guanais, José Hugo Gondim & Medeiros, Rodrigo Pereira & McConney, Patrick A., 2015. "Designing a framework for addressing bycatch problems in Brazilian small-scale trawl fisheries," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 111-118.


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