Science Advisory Report 2011/048
Science-based encounter protocol framework for corals and sponges
- An encounter is defined as occurring when a fishing activity interacts, either directly or indirectly, with an ecological feature that meets the criteria of an ecologically or biologically significant area (EBSA) or a vulnerable marine ecosystem (VME), or is otherwise covered by a relevant policy. This interaction may or may not be evident onboard the fishing vessel.
- If properly designed and implemented, encounter protocols can be a valuable component of a management system, particularly if used in conjunction with appropriate area closures implemented to provide protection to VME from serious or irreversible harm.
- An encounter protocol must be practical, effective, and adaptable in a reasonable timeframe and should be guided by clearly defined objectives.
- Reliable and consistent bycatch data for commercial fishing operations are typically lacking, however such data are important when implementing and evaluating the encounter protocol.
- The necessary components of a science-based encounter protocol are as follows:
- Clearly defined objectives;
- A pre-fishery planning exercise;
- Reliable, identified indicators of an encounter (e.g. thresholds/triggers);
- Selection of appropriate management responses to an encounter;
- Observer and data collection/sampling guidelines and protocols; and
- An evaluation of the implementation of the encounter protocol in a timely manner.
More detailed advice on each of these points is provided throughout this science advisory report.
This Science Advisory Report is from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat national science advisory meeting of March 15-18, 2011 to develop guidance on a science-based encounter protocol framework for coldwater corals and sponges.
This document is available in PDF format. If the document is not accessible to you, please contact the Secretariat to obtain another appropriate format, such as regular print, large print, Braille or audio version.
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