[MARMAM] Cetacean bycatch consultancy

Aimee Leslie aimee_lb at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 16 03:23:08 PST 2015

WWF is seeking a highly qualified cetacean bycatch expert to deliver the following consultancy:

Cetacean Bycatch Consultancy ToR


Incidental capture in fishing operations is the most important threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises worldwide. Catches occur in gillnet, longline, purse seine and trawl gear, in fisheries that range from industrial to artisanal. Several species and many populations can be lost in the next few years without immediate action.


A coordinated, co-operative effort is required to address this global issue, although each problem will require a local solution. Direct involvement of the fishing industry is essential at all stages, from recognising the problem to developing solutions.


Considerable progress has been made in a few fisheries in the development, testing and implementation of measures designed to reduce the incidental mortality of cetaceans. In general, this information has not been widely disseminated outside specific scientific or conservation communities.


Lack of detailed information on the magnitude of the bycatch or the size and biology of particular cetacean populations should not be used as a reason for a lack of action. Default or generalised models of cetacean population dynamics and relative bycatch rates can and should be used as the basis for initiating action.


The purpose of this consultancy is to revise and compile available resources on cetacean bycatch as well as update the content of a website to be developed (cetacean-bycatch.org) as the go-to site for information from different sources that can provide lessons learnt on what has worked and hasn't worked to reduce and mitigate cetacean bycatch on a case-by-case basis.


This consultancy is to provide an analysis and comparison of the different alternatives to reduce cetacean bycatch, taking into account the specific circumstances that influenced success or the lack of it. This comparison will consider, but not be limited by, the following criteria:


·      Location characteristics (social, economic, environmental)

·      Target species

·      Bycaught species

·      Fishing type and gear

·      Engagement process

·      When and where the approach might or might not work

·      Cost

·      Sources of information

Most importantly the consultant will identify the best one or two candidate gear solutions to bycatch that the network should seek to roll-out at an ecological meaningful scale.


This consultancy is to look at bycatch deterrents such as, but not limited to:  acoustic alarms or pingers, fishing gear modifications, time and area closures, and cetacean release methods.


Sources of information include:

·      The Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS) defined unacceptable levels of incidental mortality of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries;

·      The Agreement for the International Dolphin Conservation Program for the eastern Pacific, signed by eleven countries, establishment of a complex management system to reduce dolphin bycatches;

·      The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission extensive work to assess the magnitude of cetacean bycatches and review mitigation measures;

·      The United States formal system of stock assessment and mitigation to address the incidental mortality of cetaceans and other marine mammals.

Timeline and Budget

November 2015: Consultant is hired and contract is finalised.

January 2015: Consultant submits draft report.

February 2015: Based on network feedback consultant delivers final report.


Budget to be agreed.



Please send letters of interest, quote and CV to aleslie at wwfint.org <mailto:aleslie at wwfint.org> no later than November 27, 2015.

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