[MARMAM] Terms of Reference for a consultancy to draft safe handling and release guidelines for small cetaceans found live in fishing gear
gianna.minton at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 12:40:53 PST 2019
The World Wildlife Foundation would like to share the Terms of Reference
for a consultancy to draft a set of comprehensive guidelines on the safe
handling and release of small cetaceans unintentionally caught in fishing
gear, and found alive and viable for release. This consultancy is being
hosted by WWF, however, the project will be conducted in collaboration with
the IWC, FAO, CMS, IOTC, and the WCPFC, who have all confirmed a need for
this type of resource and expressed interest in reviewing, and eventually
adopting and disseminating the guidelines once they are produced.
It is worth noting that the ToR clearly state that ‘*While these guidelines
should NOT be viewed as a solution to the problem of cetacean bycatch, as
they will only help a small number of animals that are found live and
already compromised, they can be viewed as first step toward engaging
fisheries in the process of acknowledging entanglements, and collaborating
on solutions to reduce their fishery’s impact on cetaceans. The ultimate
goal is to collaborate to prevent bycatch and entanglement from occurring
in the first place through effective mitigation measures*.’
The application deadline has been extended to March 1st, so the turn-around
time on this is fairly tight. Applications are to be sent directly to
Aimee Leslie (aimee.leslie at wwfperu.org*)* and Leigh Henry (
Leigh.Henry at wwfus.org).
WWF: Drafting of technical guidelines on safe handling and release of small
cetaceans from fishing gearTerms of Reference
*Time frame of contract:* March 2019- May 2019
*Reports to*: OOTN (Wildlife Bycatch) ACAI, WWF Cetacean Initiative (work
will also be reviewed by external partners)
Entanglement in fishing gear presents the greatest known human-induced
threat to small cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and small whales) around the
globe. In 2008 estimated 300,000 cetaceans were unintentionally killed in
fisheries each year, a number which is likely to have increased over the
past 10 years. While the majority of entangled dolphins are found dead in
nets, having asphyxiated when they were unable to surface to breathe,
fishers routinely find animals in their nets that are still alive, and
could have a good chance of survival if they are handled and released with
Safe handling and release protocols have been proven to be effective for
turtles, and a variety of guidelines have been developed to support fishers
who find live turtles in their fishing gear (see for example these
<http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/i0725e/i0725e.pdf> produced by the FAO).
Safe handling and release guidelines are also available for seabirds
<http://www.issfguidebooks.org/longline-2-21/> and sharks
<http://www.issfguidebooks.org/longline-2-26/>, although perhaps in less
detail than those available for turtles. However, guidelines for the safe
handling and release of small cetaceans seem to be almost completely
lacking. The few examples that exist, such as those produced by ACCOBAMS
useful tools, but lack the level of detail required to ensure truly safe
practices and enhance survival rates of released animals.
WWF and IGO partners, such as the International Whaling Commission, the
Convention on Migratory Species, the FAO, and various Regional Fisheries
Management Organisations (RFMOs) have identified a need for the development
of more detailed technical guidelines on the safe handling and release of
small cetaceans entangled in fishing gear. While these guidelines should
NOT be viewed as a solution to the problem of cetacean bycatch, as they
will only help a small number of animals that are found live and already
compromised, they can be viewed as first step toward engaging fisheries in
the process of acknowledging entanglements, and collaborating on solutions
to reduce their fishery’s impact on cetaceans. The ultimate goal is to
collaborate to prevent bycatch and entanglement from occurring in the first
place through effective mitigation measures.
*Requirements of the guidelines:*
The guidelines should:
· Draw from and build on existing guidelines that will be provided
by the contract holders;
· Take into account any other guidelines that the contractor is able
to source through online searchers or other sources; take into account the
multiple guidelines that have been developed for dealing with live cetacean
strandings, which include detailed information on handling and release from
· Take into account relevant provisions in existing guidelines or
recommendations relating to safety at sea for fishers
· Include the following sections:
o An introduction with basic information on small cetaceans and their
biology and ecology (particularly those aspects of their ecology that put
them at risk of entanglement), and the nature of their interactions with
o Benefits to the fishing industry in facilitating the safe release of
o A detailed diagram showing small cetacean’s basic anatomy, labeling and
highlighting those parts of their anatomy that are vulnerable and should be
handled with extra care (e.g. the blowhole, eyes).
o A detailed list (ideally illustrated) of equipment that fishers should
carry on board to assist with the safe handling and release of cetaceans
(could be separated into different lists for each of the fisheries/settings
below), including, where relevant, equipment that is already carried on
board that can be utilized to assist with these efforts and cost effective
technologies that would be suitable for use in small scale fisheries and in
developing country contexts.
o Detailed instructions for safe handling and release from different
fishing gears and in different settings, including, but not limited to:
gillnets, long lines, purse seines, beach seines, decks of large industrial
vessels, decks of small fishing skiffs. In the case of large industrial
vessels, advice should include how to safely lower an animal back down into
the water without causing further injury. In each case consideration should
be given to how to avoid further damage to fishing gear wherever possible.
o Ideally, these instructions should be illustrated and/or accompanied by
hyperlinks to videos of good practice. While provision of illustrations or
videos will not be expected under this contract, descriptions of the
content of illustrations, or pasting in of examples from other
sources/species would be helpful.
o A template for a final section where organisations/users can provide
user-specific information on who should be notified with reports of
entanglements and how they were handled.
*Resources and experts for consultation*
In addition to building on existing published resources, the contractor
will be expected to consult with a number of recognized experts who will be
able to assist with the development of the guidelines. They should include,
but are not limited to:
· The International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) Large Whale
Entanglement Response Coordinator; Stranding Coordinator; and Bycatch
· The CMS/ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS Secretariats;
· Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).
Milestones and deliverables
Completion of outline and mapping of resource documents
Outline and resource list
March 15, 2019
Completion of first draft for review
April 15th, 2019
Integration of comments and feedback and preparation of final draft for
testing in Peruvian fisheries and feedback from IWC Scientific Committee
and expert panels on Bycatch, Strandings and large whale entanglement
May 1st, 2019
Following the IWC Scientific Committee, the report will be revised with
their input and feedback, and then shared with other stakeholders (FAO,
CMS, RFMOs) for their feedback and input. A second phase of the project
will include these more extensive revisions, commissioning of
illustrations, formatting of the guidelines, and dissemination. There may
be scope for the consultant to be involved in this second phase of the
Consultant profile and competencies
The following experience and competencies are essential for the role:
· A background either in cetacean health and anatomy, or fisheries
· Strong English writing skills.
· Self-motivated and able to take initiative to find resources and
expertise where required.
Additional competencies that would be beneficial to the role include:
· Ability to read and understand French and Spanish.
· Illustration and/or graphic design skills.
A maximum of 5,000 USD is available for this phase of the project.
Reporting and key contact
· Technical key contact with Aimee Leslie
· Reporting on deliverables to ACAI Bycatch: key contact is Aimee
Instructions for submitting an application:
Please send a letter expressing your interest and demonstrating your
qualifications in relation to the Terms of Reference above. Your letter
and application should include:
· A brief expression of interest;
· A summary of your most relevant qualifications;
· A proposed budget and timeline, with a breakdown of the number of
days expected to be spent on each stage of the project and the rate charged;
· An up-to-date CV.
· At least 2 examples of relevant work that you have completed in
Please send your application to Aimee Leslie (aimee.leslie at wwfperu.org) and
Leigh Henry (Leigh.Henry at wwfus.org) by or before March 1st. A candidate
will be selected by March 11th.
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