The Bycatch Mitigation Information System (BMIS) has been developed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to manage and facilitate access to information covering bycatch and bycatch mitigation in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). Bycatch refers to those species which are incidentally caught in fisheries that target other species, such as tuna or swordfish.
The online system has been made available as a resource for fisheries managers, scientists, fishers and the general public. It has four sections: References, Mitigation Measures, Decisions/Regulations and Target & Bycatch Species.
The key-word searchable References section focuses on seabird, shark and turtle bycatch mitigation methods relevant to the longline, purse seine, pole and line and troll tuna fisheries of the WCPO. A total of 475 references up to 2010 is covered, including those from ACAP meetings held this year.
Descriptions of 38 Mitigation Methods include links to the BirdLife International/ACAP Seabird Bycatch Mitigation Factsheets.
Decisions/Regulations (WCPFC Resolutions and Conservation and Management Measures and the decisions of other RFMOs; a total of 128) are included for each mitigation method covered, where they refer to and/or require the use of a particular mitigation method.
The BMIS also provides a list of Target & Bycatch Species that have been recorded in the region's oceanic fisheries. No less than 552 species are listed, including 29 seabird taxa, of which 18 are ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels recorded from the western and central Pacific Ocean.
The BMIS has been developed by the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for the WCPFC, with initial funding from the US and in-kind support from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Centre (PIFSC), Honolulu, USA.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 December 2010