Learn about and connect with stakeholders you may find helpful in advancing your own bycatch reduction interests or objectives.
Acadien Crabbers’ Association
The ACADIEN CRABBERS’ ASSOCIATION is an organization representing most of the midshore snow crab fleet active in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada). Our fishery is encountering an ever-increasing presence of North Atlantic right whales on our fishing grounds and we are actively trying to adjust our fishing gear and practices to prevent harmful interactions with the whales. Through government funding and with the expertise of local and international specialists, solutions are sought through 15 subprojects related to:
- Connection between traditional Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and Electronic Monitoring (EM) for real time transmission of data related to whale sightings and entanglements and regulatory monitoring activities;
- Integration of new and/or emerging technologies into snow crab fishing gear;
- Integration of new coding technologies for traceability of fishing gear;
- Rehabilitation of the natural infrastructure of the seabed.
Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life
The Bycatch Reduction Program at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life carries out cutting-edge research to identify solutions to bycatch problems. We conduct studies of animal interactions with fishing operations, research and development of innovative fishing gear and practices, evaluations of new fishing techniques in collaboration with commercial and artisanal fishermen worldwide, and maintain the Global Bycatch Exchange as well as pursue other international policy initiatives that help advance solutions to fisheries bycatch.
Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and incorporated in April 2018, Ashored is focused on improving the sustainability of the commercial fishery through the development of user-friendly and purpose-built innovations. Currently, Ashored is addressing issues of marine animal entanglements, derelict/ghost fishing gear, and the related challenges to the industry and governance.
Ashored has developed a ropeless fishing system and accompanying tracking software that can be used with current industry traps/trawls. This gear sinks to the ocean floor and can be recalled to the surface using an acoustic release and time-based redundancy. Once the buoy and connecting rope surface, fishermen can use existing onboard equipment and processes to retrieve the traps and prepare for redeployment. By preventing fixed ropes from extending throughout the water column, marine life will be able to pass through fishing waters without harm and fishing ropes will no longer be susceptible to being severed by boat propellers or competitors.
Ashored’s proprietary rope containment system facilitates simple loading and resetting, and also fast, clean rope release that helps fishers minimize gear losses and prevents potential entanglements with marine animals. Ashored’s ropeless fishing systems are designed for the harshest conditions and take into account key factors prioritized by fishers.
Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources, Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University
The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR) is an applied research unit within the School of Fisheries at the Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University. Recognized as Canada’s experts in fish capture, our team has core strengths in fishing gear design and testing, conservation engineering, fisheries biology, fish capture behaviour, and mechanical engineering. The team uses a combination of numerical simulation, physical modelling in the flume tank, and at-sea comparative fishing experiments to improve sustainable fishing practices and profitability of commercial fishing enterprises.
Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur CPPS (Permanent Commission for the South Pacific)
CPPS is an intergovernmental organization with four member countries: Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. CPPS's main objective is to coordinate maritime policies among member states. CPPS is also the technical secretary of the Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in the South Pacific (PAMM). Main activities include training, workshops, and pilot projects, to increase national capacities regarding research, conservation, and management. Marine mammal bycatch is a major threat in the region but also the most challenging conservation issue due to the extensive small scale fisheries that characterize this huge region.
EdgeTech is a leading manufacturer of underwater technology solutions. The company is known worldwide for its high quality products that include: deep sea acoustic releases, pop-up release systems, shallow water and long life acoustic releases, side scan sonars, sub-bottom profilers, bathymetry systems, AUV and ROV-based sonar systems, combined and customized solutions. In addition to the full line of acoustic releases and underwater survey products, EdgeTech provides reliable USBL systems, transponder beacons, MRUs and customized underwater acoustic command and control systems.
EdgeTech has been producing systems that hold down submerged lines in containers and release them to the surface by acoustic command for over 30 years. Our existing systems are used all over the world by oceanographers, and other scientists. The largest institutions in the US and internationally use our systems in the harshest marine environments.
We have developed a ropeless fishing system that eliminates vertical buoy lines in the water column until the trap is ready to be recovered. This system has been designed for use by fishermen. It can be modified in many different configurations to meet the specific requirements of fishermen.
Fiomarine Industries Pty Ltd
Fiomarine Industries Pty Ltd, based in Australia, are designers and manufacturers of ropeless subsea equipment and gear retrieval systems. Fiomarine realized a need for ropeless systems over 20 years ago because of a near-fatal boating accident caused by traditional fixed gear fishing operations. From this event the original Fiobuoy concept was created, it has been deployed in diverse applications and configurations since that time. The Fiobuoy is an all in one ropeless solution that is comprised of an acoustic modem, mechanical release, and popup buoy with an integrated line spool. The system has a unique acoustic identifier code allowing for easy data management while providing system security.
Marine wildlife entanglement occurrences are a global problem that has no territorial boundaries. Traditionally fixed gear fishing equipment comprised of traps, lines, and float assemblies, as used in crab and lobster fisheries, have been found to be a major source of these entanglements. Lost gear occurrences in traditional fixed gear fisheries are caused by entanglement, poaching, vessel strike, vandalism, territorial disputes, and heavy weather.
The impact to marine wildlife from entanglement and lost gear is now recognized as a serious concern and prompted environmentally conscious stakeholders to desire advanced mitigation strategies. State-sponsored Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, academia, and other interest groups have begun identifying areas that are particularly prone to marine biota ensnarement and lost gear occurrences. In addition to ensnarement location data, the frequency of entanglement numbers is starting to be available to further quantify the scale of the problem. Bycatch from lost ghost traps is an ever-increasing problem regardless of designed weak links in traps, gear can continue to fish for years.
Recognizing the pressure imparted on critically endangered species Fiomarine entered into a development program to provide a purpose-built Fiobuoy for the commercial fishing market. The result of two decades of experience created the new Fiobuoy F-Series commercial ropeless fishing system.
Fiobuoy is a registered trademark of Fiomarine.
Fishtek Marine is an engineering company that specialises in the design and manufacture of technologies which mitigate the environmental impacts of commercial fishing. Our smart fishing gear is successfully used in fisheries around the world to reduce bycatch of cetaceans, turtles, seabirds and sharks. In addition to our existing product range, we regularly consult with a wide variety of stakeholders on marine conservation issues and our award-winning engineers are able to develop ideas into viable commercial products using their expertise in mechanical, electronic and injection mould tool design. Our team have many years' experience working in the fishing industry and take to care to ensure solutions work for both fishermen and the environment.
Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory Ichthyology and Fisheries Science Lab
The mission of the FSUCML is to conduct innovative, pioneering, interdisciplinary research on coastal and marine ecosystems, to mentor the next generation of problem solvers, and to leverage scientific outcomes and expertise through engagement with stakeholders to optimize marine management and conservation. Within the FSUCML Ichthyology and Fisheries Science Lab, our focus is on the biology and ecology of exploited and poorly studied estuarine and marine fishes. Much of our research addresses specific biological gaps necessary for management and conservation of coastal and deep-water sharks and rays. We employ a variety of tagging and telemetry techniques to examine movements, migration, habitat use patterns and post-release survival of vulnerable and imperiled species. We also use fishery-independent surveys to study population dynamics and the drivers of distribution patterns of fishes and to facilitate studies of life histories, reproductive biology, trophic ecology, stress physiology, systematics and bycatch reduction.