Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4753
Title: Real-time spatial management approaches to reduce bycatch and discards: experiences from Europe and the United States
Author: Alyson Little, Coby Needle, R. Hilborn, Daniel S. Holland, Marshall Tara
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Fish and Fisheries
Volume: 16
Issue: 4
Pages: 576-602
DOI: DOI: 10.1111/faf.12080
Keywords: bycatch,discard,Fishery,MPA,Risk Pools,spatial fishing closure

Spatial management measures are currently being used to manage bycatch and discards, capitalising on the spatial heterogeneity of fish distributions. Permanent or regular fishing closures which are often unresponsive to stock dynamics, poorly implemented and do not achieve their management objectives. Recently, real-time spatial management tools for managing bycatch and discards implemented under a co-management or self-governance approach are emerging in Europe and the US. Real-time catch and discard information is shared among fishers, and this information is combined with incentives to encourage vessels to leave areas of high bycatch. The similarities and differences, in governance, implementation and management of ten real-time spatial management case studies from across Europe and the US are reviewed. Here a framework is developed to characterise attributes associated with voluntary, private and regulatory real-time spatial management tools. Challenges and best practices of different case studies are reviewed providing insights for designing these spatial management tools. The results suggest approaches are most successful when they create incentives for fishermen to develop, use and share the information and technology that enables them to avoid undesired catch. Compared to Europe, the US has developed spatial management tools using more truly real-time mechanisms and with greater involvement of the fishing industry in designing and operating them.


Comparative study of several programs that use real-time information to create dynamic spatial closures to reduce bycatch and discarding.

Theme: Ecosystem Approach to Management for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Foci: Describe the interaction between human activities and ecosystem status and resilience.
Official Citation:

Little, A.S., C. L. Needle, R. Hilborn, D.S. Holland, and C.T. Marshall 2015. Real-time spatial management approaches to reduce bycatch and discards: experiences from Europe and the United States. Fish and Fisheries. 16(4):576-602. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12080