International Protected Species and Bycatch Mitigation

Bycatch, a major threat to sustainable populations, poses a particular challenge in developing countries with fisheries that export to the United States.

The United States imports over 90% of its seafood from other nations. Many of the countries in the Latin America, Asia Pacific and West African regions are overwhelmed by the increasing demand for their fisheries products, while many lack the necessary management and/or enforcement capacity to sustainably manage their marine resources. Conservation activities or their lack in countries outside the United States can either enhance or undermine our own fisheries management and conservation efforts.

Our international cooperation efforts focus on the following three priority areas:

1) Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through monitoring, control and surveillance initiatives

(2) Building capacity of countries to sustainably manage their fisheries resources – improving their fisheries governance; and

(3) Supporting the recovery of protected species and bycatch mitigation.


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International Protected Species and Bycatch Mitigation Projects

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  • Promote greater knowledge of elasmobranchs in the Wider Caribbean and make recommendations for their management conservation in the form of a Regional Plan of Action through collaboration and support of the Western and Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) Working Group on Sharks.
  • Promote Research, Policy, and Advocacy in Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia to deter Seafood Fraud and Illegal International Trade of Shark Products by analyzing the international trade routes of these species out of the three countries and raising awareness among relevant regional and international stakeholders. The project also aims to analyze fishery product export codes utilized in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia to monitor the international trade in shark and ray products and assist in the development of proposals for the adoption of harmonized codes in these countries.
  • Support the implementation of the Interim Fisheries Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Fisheries by providing support for the improved management of the queen conch and spiny lobster fisheries and strengthening catch and traceability schemes.
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Central/South America

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More Information

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