|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||22 May 2019|
Marine megafaunal bycatch, the accidental mortality and injury of non- target species, has been recognized since the 1970s as a major factor impacting marine megafaunal populations and their recovery. In this project, we outline an innovative and iterative approach that utilizes an open source GIS toolbox to conduct a spatially and temporally explicit bycatch risk assessment for humpback whales and leatherback turtles. We are working in two ﬁshing villages in northern Peru: Mancora and Cancas.
The Bycatch Risk Assessment toolbox (ByRA) is a ﬂexible, transferable tool to identify gaps in research and support spatial planning to address marine megafaunal bycatch. This toolbox is applicable to areas where there are very little data. By applying species distribution model outputs with data gathered from interviews, this project will assess bycatch risk for humpback whales and leatherback turtles at local spatial and temporal scales. Syntheses of ByRA outputs can suggest management interventions by sub region, species, and gear type for targeting at-risk areas. Using the toolbox will enable us to share these methods and applications of bycatch risk assessment with communities, NGO’s and resource management practitioners. ByRA will put existing data about ﬁsheries, leatherback turtles and humpback whales in Peru into a cohesive risk assessment framework that can support marine conservation, sustainable ﬁsheries and eﬀective bycatch management.
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