The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction was founded in 2004 by Duke University, Maine Lobstermen's Association, New England Aquarium, and University of New Hampshire. Blue Water Fishermen's Association joined the Consortium shortly thereafter. Administered by Dr. Timothy Werner of OAI Consulting and UMASS-Boston, the Consortium supports collaborative research between scientists and the fishing industry to identify practical bycatch reduction solutions for endangered species.
The Consortium's focus is in three primary areas:
- Understanding interactions between threatened non-target species and fishing operations
- Research and development of bycatch reduction approaches
- Facilitating global exchange of information on bycatch reduction techniques
The Consortium's underlying philosophy is that a science-industry partnership is the best way to identify effective and sustainable bycatch solutions. Further, its members recognize that change in fishing practices should be commercially viable, operationally practical, and use the best available science to evaluate the degree to which they will result in bycatch reduction benefits for non-target species. Equally important, even if a fishing technique is shown conclusively to reduce bycatch in a particular non-target species or population, it should not pose an increased threat to other endangered species or for that matter be unsustainable for marine biodiversity in general. In this respect the Consortium's work program adheres to an ecosystem-based approach.
Currently, the Consortium promotes the Global Bycatch Eschange for promoting collaboration in reducing fisheries bycatch. We encourage you or your group to share a profile and help advance the Exchange as a platform for creating partnerships.