WHAT ARE RBAs?
Rapid Bycatch Assessments (RBAs) are a systematic and scientific approach to swiftly gathering essential information about small-scale fisheries and bycatch interactions with non-target species like sea turtles.
Our main goals are to identify loggerhead and leatherback turtle bycatch hotspots in artisanal fisheries along the Mexican Pacific coast and to gather other valuable insights to address bycatch issue in the region.
In the present context, these RBAs focus on individuals engaged in artisanal fishing, either currently or in the past. We conduct standardized in-person surveys in strategically chosen coastal communities to achieve this. Through these surveys, we continue to obtain baseline data on fisheries and the characteristics of sea turtle bycatch.
WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION DO WE OBTAIN WITH THE RBAs?
Through our standardized in-person surveys, we gather the following type of information:
- General fishing insights at the local level (fishing seasons, gear, target catch).
- Information on the occurrence and frequency of sea turtle bycatch (by species).
- Fishers' perspectives and opinions on bycatch and its impact on their lives.
- Thoughts and ideas about how and to what level bycatch can be solved.
We also used the surveys to evaluate fishers' interest in participating in other activities related to this project.
WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GATHERED INFORMATION SERVE?
The data obtained through the surveys serves several important purposes:
- Understand fishers' perspectives on bycatch:
Our research also involves engaging with fishers to gain insights into their experience with bycatch. We foster dialogue with fishers to understand their perspectives and work with them and their community to co-develop practical and feasible solutions to decrease bycatch.
- Report on the issue of bycatch:
We utilize the data to compile comprehensive reports on the extent of bycatch and its impact on non-target species, particularly sea turtles. These reports aim to raise awareness among stakeholders, policymakers, and the wider public.
- Identifying interested parties for finding solutions:
We identify individuals, organizations, and communities that share a common interest in addressing the challenge of bycatch. These stakeholders can be crucial collaborators in developing effective solutions.
- Identify actors that have successfully developed solutions to bycatch reduction:
We identify specific places or individuals who have successfully implemented measures to reduce bycatch. Their experiences and strategies serve as valuable case studies and sources of inspiration for developing practical solutions in other regions.
- Identify communities to support the development of other activities related to Mares Comunidad:
The activities may include educational programs, capacity-building initiatives, or supporting the implementation of specific conservation measures tailored to the local context.
By leveraging the data we collect, we strive to contribute to a more informed and collaborative approach to addressing bycatch while promoting the sustainable coexistence of fishing practices and the protection of vulnerable species.
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