Every year, millions of tons of fish, marine mammals, turtles, birds and other organisms are accidentally caught and discarded as ‘bycatch’. Bycatch not only affects marine ecosystems but also the millions of people who rely on healthy fish stocks for food and employment. While virtually all fisheries result in some bycatch there are those, particularly driftnets and bottom trawling, that result in the highest rates of species mortality and environmental damage.
Save the Seas campaign seeks to address the issue of bycatch in targeted fisheries, including an end to the use of illegal driftnets in the Mediterranean and addressing the enormous impacts of tropical shrimp bottom trawl fisheries. We are also working to ensure that European fishing vessels operating in distant waters of Africa and Asia are required to meet the same bycatch standards as those fishing in Europe, and to develop an International Plan of Action on Bycatch Reduction pressing governments to take immediate action to reduce bycatch in all fisheries.