BYCATCH IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM
Bycatch is one of the most important concepts in sustainable fishing. It is defined by the unintentional removal of seabirds, marine mammals, turtles, or other sea creatures while fishing for a target species, such as Alaska Pollock. This number when expressed as a percentage means that with a 10% bycatch, for every 100 lbs of seafood/other animals taken out of the water/environment, the fishers do not want 10 lbs of what is caught.
SUSTAINABLE FISHING IS ABOUT WHAT ISN’T CAUGHT
The total amount of global Bycatch is difficult to report on because it is often not measured by fisheries; not every country’s government has transparency and accountability programs for commercial fishing. In 1994 and again in 2004, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) commissioned a series of reports that tried
to estimate global bycatch, but it’s difficult to get a clear picture because many countries lack sufficient data. The United States has excellent data for U.S. Fisheries which Average 17% Bycatch. For comparison, a 2009 WWF Report estimated 2000-2005 Total Peruvian fisheries bycatch at 39.3% of total landings (anchovies make up the lowest %).