Reducing Canadian Bycatch Rebuilding Ocean Abundance

Bycatch is the unintentional catch of non-target fish and ocean wildlife
Up to 10.3 million tonnes of sea life is unintentionally caught each year around the world, captured in nets, lines and other gear.
Bycatch poses a threat to the economic health of Canada's fisheries and the ecological health of the oceans. We can dramatically reduce these impacts if the federal government takes action to Count, Cap and Control bycatch

A smooth dogfish caught as bycatch

COUNT -All species must be accounted for. Everything that is caught in a fishery, including bycatch, should be counted. Without accurate estimate of how much of each species are caught and discarded, we have no way of reducing the negative effects of bycatch.

Many different species seen caught within one net

CAP - Establishing bycatch limits for all protected and depleted species. Bycatch limits for non-target fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and shark populations must be based on scientific evidence. Once these limits are reached, fishing should be shut down or relocated for the remainder of the season.

This North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) seen entangled in fishing rope is one of the most endangered animals on earth. Its current population is as low as 500 individuals. Due to their slow speed and tendency to swim near the surface they are vulnerable to entanglement in ropes from fishing gear.

By protecting overfished populations and species at risk we can help them recover and rebuild ocean abundance.

Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) are one of the four species of sea turtles that can be found in Canadian waters. Thousands of sea turtles are accidentally captured in fishing operations targeting other species.

CONTROL- Reduce bycatch by using more sustainable fishing gear. Federal fisheries managers must enforce existing regulation and provide incentives for responsible fishing
Sustainable fishing gear is necessary to help reduce bycatch - this includes measures such as modifying destructive gear or transitioning to selective gear types and avoiding hotspots for bycatch.
Adding trap doors in nets, like this Turtle Excluder Device, or TEDs, is one way to help reduce bycatch. TEDs are important in areas like the southern USA because in these habitats sea turtles are at a stage in their life where they spend a lot of time near the sea floor and, therefore, are more likely to interact with bottom trawling fishing gear

Trawl fishing (mass netting of the ocean floor), long line fishing (80 km line with thousands of hooks) and hydraulic dredging (steel boxes that drag the seafloor liquifying the sediments and vacuuming up sea life) are three of the most harmful types of gear used in Canada.

The great abundance of Canada’s fisheries and oceans can be rebuilt within our lifetime
Help sea life #EscapeTheNet

Call on the Canadian government to institute and enforce measures to Count, Cap and Control bycatch. Show your support by signing this petition.

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