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Compensatory Mitigation: An Interim Solution to Seabird Bycatch in Fisheries? Public Deposited

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  • The concept of compensatory mitigation is well established as an approach to environmental management. In the past, mitigation programs have been used to conserve wetlands affected by development, and is proposed as a cost-effective approach to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions through reforestation programs. The concept may be equally applicable to environmental management in fisheries. Each year, substantial numbers of non-target species are caught and killed as incidental bycatch during fishing activities. Of increasing concern is the impact this bycatch is having on seabird populations. Substantial areas of fisheries are being closed to protect these species at great cost to the fishing industry. However, other actions may be taken to offset the impact of fishing on these populations, such as reducing predation by invasive species. In this paper, we examine the potential role of compensatory mitigation as a fisheries management tool. An example is provided of the potential cost effectiveness of rodent control relative to fishery area closures for the conservation of a seabird population adversely affected by an Australian tuna fishery. We find that, in the example being examined, invasive rodent eradication is at least 10 times more cost effective than area closures. While this does not solve the actual bycatch problem, it may provide breathing space for both the seabird species and the industry to find longer term means of reducing bycatch.
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  • Pascoe, Sean, Chris Wilcox and C. Josh Donlan. 2010. Compensatory Mitigation: An Interim Solution to Seabird Bycatch in Fisheries? 12 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, Agence Française de Développement, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Ministère de L’Alimentation de L’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Ministère de l’Énergie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer, La Région Languedoc Rouslilon, Département Hérault, Montpellier Agglomèration, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, and AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).
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