Project aim: Implementation of monitoring requirements
In general interactions are a result of bycatch which consists of
marine mammals, such as dolphins, being captured in fishing gear.
Interactions are also a result of depredation which consists of marine animals damaging or taking the catch from the net.
As part of our ongoing work:
- We submit an annual report to the European Commission outlining our implementation of monitoring requirements
- We attend the ICES working group on bycatch of protected species which assesses bycatch information from all EC member states
Our methods: How we monitor bycatch
Monitoring of bycatch of protected species primarily focuses on pelagic trawl and set net fisheries as required under Council Regulation (EC) no 812/2004.
From 2005 to 2011, 703 days of observations were carried out in a range of Irish pelagic trawl fisheries through independent observer programmes, technical trials, fisheries surveys and the data collection framework.
Around 200 of these observed days were undertaken as part of dedicated independent observer programmes commissioned by BIM and conducted by University College Cork and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
No cetacean bycatch occurred during the independent observer work while four common dolphins were observed as bycatch as part of a fishery survey conducted in 2006.
Set net fisheries
Between 2005 and 2007 extensive observer work was carried out in set net fisheries resulting in an updated bycatch estimate for porpoises in the Celtic Sea in 2006.
In 2011 and 2012 almost one hundred days were undertaken observing interactions between seals and other protected species and set net fisheries off the south and south west coasts - in gill, tangle and trammel net fisheries. A report on this work is due to be finalised by mid 2013.
Future Plans: Further monitoring
- Seventy two days of dedicated independent observer work in set net fisheries is planned in 2013
- Monitoring of bycatch in pelagic trawls will continue as part of the data collection framework, fisheries surveys and technical trials