Fishermen sometimes catch and discard animals they do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep, creating what we know as bycatch. Bycatch can be fish, but also includes marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds that become hooked or entangled in fishing gear.
Bycatch is a complex, global issue that threatens the sustainability and resiliency of our fishing communities, economies, and ocean ecosystems. Bycatch of protected species, such as sea turtles and marine mammals, remains a significant threat to recovering dwindling populations. We are committed to minimizing bycatch in U.S. fisheries to ensure our fisheries are sustainable and protected species are given the best chance to recover.