NOAA Fisheries is conducting a review to evaluate whether and how to improve the National Bycatch Report.
NOAA Fisheries is responsible for monitoring and managing bycatch and bycatch mortality of living marine resources in U.S. fisheries. As part of that effort, we produced the National Bycatch Report in 2011, and updates in 2014 (Update 1) and 2016 (Update 2), to provide bycatch estimates at the fishery and species level. The National Bycatch Report is not a requirement under the Magnuson-Stevens Act or other law. The report and its updates provide a compilation of bycatch information and national and regional overviews to help monitor bycatch trends and set fishery monitoring priorities. They are not, however, used for day-to-day management of fisheries.
Priorities and issues surrounding bycatch have evolved since 2011. To address these issues, NOAA Fisheries released the National Bycatch Reduction Strategy in 2016 and a Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology rule in 2017. In addition, we are conducting a review to evaluate whether and how to improve the National Bycatch Report.
Varying legal definitions of bycatch exist, and the National Bycatch Report and Updates have used a relatively broad definition. The current review, however, focuses only on fish and invertebrate species bycatch, including Endangered Species Act-listed fish species such as salmon.
Questions for Consideration
Please consider the following questions in your feedback:
- How have you or your organization used the fish or invertebrate estimates of bycatch in the National Bycatch Report and/or its updates?
- How have you or your organization used other sections of the National Bycatch Report that pertain to fish or invertebrates (e.g., bycatch estimation improvement plans, performance metrics, Tier Classification System)?
- Have you or your organization used fish or invertebrate bycatch estimates from other sources? If yes, how do these other estimates relate to or differ from the estimates in the National Bycatch Report? How have you used those estimates, and why have you chosen that source instead of the National Bycatch Report?
- Do you have suggestions for improving how the National Bycatch Report can better depict fish and invertebrate bycatch trends or help set fishery monitoring priorities?
- Do you have suggestions for improving the estimates of fish and invertebrate bycatch in the National Bycatch Report?
- What is the most useful way to disseminate bycatch information (e.g., paper report, website, data query tool, etc.)?
Please submit comments before October 31 by email , or by U.S. mail to Wendy Morrison, NMFS, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.