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SAVE THE DATE: Virtual training course on the identification and handling of vulnerable species incidentally caught during fishing operations

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Co-organized by the GFCM and RCG Med&BS, in the context of the Medbycatch Project and the EU Data Collection Framework.

Objective: Organization of training courses on the identification and handling of vulnerable species incidentally caught in Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries: marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, sharks and rays, macrobenthic invertebrates.

Intended audience: Scientific observers and experts involved in the monitoring and biological sampling of commercial fisheries from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries as well as relevant partner organizations.

Background: The incidental catch of vulnerable species in fisheries (or bycatch) represents an important conservation issue in the Mediterranean and Black Sea for a number of vulnerable species, including marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, sharks and rays, and macrobenthic invertebrates. Understanding bycatch and adopting effective measures to reduce it are essential steps towards minimizing the incidental catch of vulnerable species and, more generally, conserving the marine ecosystems, as well as ensuring a sustainable fishery sector. Regular and standardized monitoring programmes are therefore crucial to better understand the consequences and regional distribution of incidental catch events in fisheries.

To enable a better and more robust estimation of bycatch during fishing activities, several Mediterranean and Black Sea countries are already carrying out monitoring programmes1, in line with the publication “Monitoring incidental catch of vulnerable species in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: methodology for data collection”.

The training course will take place on 5 dates in February 2022:

  • 1 February (marine mammals);
  • 3 February (sea turtles);
  • 7 February (elasmobranchs);
  • 9 February (seabirds);
  • 11 February (macroinvertebrates).

Each course will last one day, with a morning session covering general aspects and an afternoon session delving into species’ subregional specificities. The training will be held in English and French, online on the Zoom platform. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Registration will open on the GFCM website in early January 2022.

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