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National Bycatch Strategy

NOAA Fisheries’ statutory obligations to monitor and reduce bycatch are set forth in the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

To address its legislative mandates NOAA Fisheries has developed a National Bycatch Strategy, partly based on the 1998 NOAA Fisheries publication "Managing the Nation’s Bycatch", and has been expanded upon in a number of publications. The National Bycatch Strategy expands on the national bycatch goal, as stated in the Managing the Nation's Bycatch:
Publications
2012 BREP Report to Congress BREP Report to Congress (2012)
An overview of the projects funded to implement the BREP in 2011. Individual projects, including improvements and developments in gear technology, and reduction in bycatch and seabird interactions are described.
The National Bycatch Report (2011)
Released September 22, 2011. The first national compilation of bycatch estimates at the fishery and species level for living marine resources of US that are managed by NOAA Fisheries.
BREP Report to Congress(2011)
An overview of the projects funded to implement the BREP in 2010. Individual projects, including improvements and developments in gear technology, and reduction in bycatch and seabird interactions are described.
Evaulating Bycatch - Final Report 11/04 Evaluating Bycatch (2004)
This report was developed to formulate procedures for monitoring bycatch, in particular to provide information that could be used to develop standardized bycatch reporting methodologies. 
National Bycatch Strategy (2003)
This strategy document set the stage for a comprehensive review of agency progress toward meeting the NOAA Fisheries' national bycatch goal. 
Managing the Nations's Bycatch Report Managing the Nation’s Bycatch (1998)
This comprehensive national bycatch plan was developed over an 18-month period by a planning team of fisheries managers and scientists from across NOAA Fisheries in conjunction with solicited public comments.

To implement conservation and management measures for living marine resources that will minimize, to the extent practicable, bycatch and the mortality of bycatch that cannot be avoided.

What does "to the extent practicable mean"?  Where bycatch can be reduced without impacting fisheries operations or revenues, it should be. In many cases, it may be possible, but not practicable, to eliminate all bycatch. In these instances, bycatch should be carefully monitored to ensure that it occurs in a sustainable manner.

As part of the National Bycatch Strategy, each NOAA Fisheries Region and Science Center, along with the Office of Sustainable Fisheries' Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Division, develops annual Bycatch Action Items and Progress Updates, which outline bycatch monitoring and reduction activities and progress.
 
Action Items & Progress Updates: 2010-2011
Adobe PDFNortheast Region Adobe PDFNorthwest Region
Adobe PDFAtlantic HMS Adobe PDFAlaska Region
Adobe PDFSoutheast Region Adobe PDFPacific Islands Region
Adobe PDFSouthwest Region