Reducing by-catch in the world’s fisheries: new book

One of the world’s most serious and controversial fishing issues - the waste associated with unwanted by-catch - is the subject of a new book edited by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Chief Scientist, Dr Steve Kennelly.

Published internationally by Springer, the book features contributions from 27 of the world’s leading experts, including NSW DPI fisheries scientists Drs Matt Broadhurst, Charles Gray and John Stewart.

Titled "By-catch Reduction in the World’s Fisheries", the book looks at technologies being developed to minimise the incidental capture, death and discarding of unwanted fish.

Dr Kennelly said that for most of human history, developments in fishing technology have been driven by the desire to catch ever-greater quantities of fish of an ever-increasing diversity.

In recent decades this emphasis has changed to a focus on fishing techniques that are selective in what they catch.

Dr Kennelly said that more recently the field has expanded further to address problems associated with the impact of fishing gears, especially dredges and trawls, on fishery ecosystems.

This is the first time that developments in this relatively new field have been gathered together in book form.

Topics covered include improving the selectivity of fishing gears, reconciling improved fisheries technologies with conservation needs, reducing ecosystem impacts, recreational fishing and the all-important processes involved in getting fishers to adopt the new technologies.

Dr Kennelly believes the book will be a valuable tool for any fisheries professional or lay person interested in by-catch reduction or anyone trying to resolve a particular by-catch problem.

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