WHAT ARE BRTs?
BRTs, or Bycatch Reduction Technologies, are fishing gear adapted to address the unintentional capture of non-target species, explicitly focusing on minimizing the capture of sea turtles. The dedicated team at Mares Comunidad has taken the initiative to design, construct, and conduct field tests on BRTs.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN GOALS AND ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT DURING THE FIELD TESTS?
To mitigate bycatch of sea turtles and other non-target species, we collaborate closely with fishers and engineers from the Mexican Pacific coast. Together, we are constructing and assembling modified nets, as well as the execution of field tests to assess their impact on both the targeted commercial species and the accidental capture of endangered species.
Our primary emphasis has been on gillnets because their inherent lack of selectivity, leads to a high incidence of bycatch, including endangered sea turtles.
We are exploring four different modifications to the nets with our fisher partners:
- Adjustments in the number and spacing of buoys in bottom-set nets.
- Low-profile bottom-set nets.
- Different mesh sizes in gillnets
- Illuminated nets equipped with green solar lights.
Previous studies conducted in Mexico and other regions worldwide have shown promising outcomes from these modifications. Research indicates a reduction in the incidental capture of sea turtles and other vulnerable species without significant adverse effects on the intended catch species or their market value.
Mares Comunidad is a response to the recognized imperative, both at the national and global levels, to identify practical solutions for minimizing unintentional fishing and its impact on vulnerable or endangered species while ensuring the economic stability of fishing communities.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIVE DEEPER INTO OUR DATA?
Please visit our dashboard for more information and a summary of project results relating to our work with the communities, fisheries, and fishers.Open Dashboard