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02/18: First Multi-taxa Bycatch Project Coordination Meeting in Tunisia

Multi-taxa Bycatch Project Coordination Meeting

SPA/RAC organised the first coordination meeting for the Multitaxa Bycatch project in Tunisia on 21 February 2018, in collaboration with GFCM, Birdlife and INSTM

On Wednesday, 21 February 2018, SPA/RAC organized a first coordination meeting on the project "Understanding Mediterranean multi-taxa ‘bycatch’ of vulnerable species and testing mitigation- a collaborative approach", with the participation of representatives of INSTM, GFCM, Birdlife and the Tunisian Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment.

The purpose of the meeting was to define the key issues for bycatch sampling and observation methodologies, and the scientific and logistical support necessary for implementation with consideration of the particularities of Tunisian fisheries and the ecology of vulnerable species.

In Tunisia, the objective of the project is to involve key national stakeholders to set up a monitoring and data collection strategy on demersal trawls, longlines and gillnets bycatch of vulnerable and endangered species (sea birds and turtles, cetaceans and cartilaginous fishes) with a collaborative approach at both national and regional levels.

The main objective is to acquire continuous standardized data (standardized at regional level) on vulnerable species bycatch, analyse it and develop solutions and recommendations for their mitigation and, finally, to contribute to the Mediterranean 2020-2030 strategy for reducing incidental captures of vulnerable species.

SPA/RAC is responsible for the implementation of the project with a partnership including Birdlife International (as coordinator), GFCM, ACCOBAMS, MEDASSET and IUCN-Med and with funding from the MAVA Foundation.

Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey, being key areas for many vulnerable species incidentally cached, are the beneficiary countries of this project with a global objective of developing measures and a strategy for bycatch mitigation that should be applicable and replicable to the whole Mediterranean.