Coordinated Development and Implementation of Best Practice in Bycatch Reduction in the North Atlantic Region (CIBBRiNA) ? an international bycatch project proposal
Anne-Marie Svoboda and Marije Siemensma
This international project proposal to address bycatch, initiated by the Netherlands, will be submitted under EU LIFE call, to be launched spring/summer 2021. The project will focus on the incidental bycatch of all sensitive marine protected species in high-risk fisheries in the OSPAR and HELCOM regions. One of the main aims is to involve fishermen and fisheries management organisations at national and international level from the start and build on advice from fora such as ICES, among others, on monitoring and mitigation. The intention is to complement and build on other projects as much as possible to avoid duplicating efforts. The ultimate goal is to implement robust monitoring programmes and mitigation measures to reduce bycatch in high-risk fisheries in cooperation with the fisheries industry. Project actions entail developing an assessment framework to assess conservation implications of bycatch, as well as a suitability assessment framework to determine the factors contributing to the success of different (trialed) methods and tools for monitoring and mitigation. Also, socio-economic aspects such as mapping the supply chain will be factored in. Conservation actions will focus on sustainable funding mechanisms, the fisheries perspective, a mitigation toolkit, including structural approaches to assessing species ecology and behaviour into the effectiveness of mitigation methods, monitoring methods and upscaling successful measures.
The timelines have somewhat changed; the call is expected in June instead of April, the concept note phase however has been lifted for 2021 and the full proposal should presumably be submitted early October 2021. To date, 12 countries have expressed interest in participating. Relevant fisheries Advisory Councils have been informed, as well as several national fisheries organisations, which have also shown interest to participate in the project. The formal request for commitment will follow in due course.
There are multiple potential ways to participate in the project, as funding partner, in-kind partner, subcontractors or a more advisory role. For successful participation and implementation, different parties are requested to consider a role within the project, namely fisheries and environment ministries, scientific experts and fisheries representatives as well as active fishermen. NGOs are also requested to consider participation. Prerequisite for participation is an open view towards potential solutions to minimise bycatch.
The Committee is requested to consider the project outline and actions and comment as deemed necessary. The project aims to address recommendations from the Committee, specifically the recommendations directed at EU and relevant IWC member states to ensure that appropriate bycatch measures are implemented effectively and are in place for the longer term throughout European waters, as well as having a focus on cross-border and cross-agency cooperation with fishers and among countries on bycatch monitoring and mitigation, building on the expert advice of ICES and other relevant regional organisations. The proposed actions in this project correspond significantly with the work of the IWC BMI, among others in trialing pilots and identifying factors of success for different monitoring and mitigation methods. The project is intended to be complementary to support the work of the IWC BMI. The Committee is therefore also requested to provide input into and review the final full proposal of this project and to align the work with the BMI work as much as possible, potentially by setting up a small group.