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Cetacean Bycatch Observer Monitoring System (Continued as ME6004) - MB5203

All cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it an offence to intentionally kill or injure cetaceans. They are also listed under Annex IVa of the Council Directive (92/43/EEC) on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (the Habitats Directive) as species in need of strict protection. They are further protected by mandatory observation, monitoring and bycatch (the incidental catch in fishing gear) mitigation work under Council Regulation 812/2004.
Since 2004 Defra has had a contract with SMRU to fulil these cetacean by-catch observer requirements.

This work has focused on monitoring the effectiveness of acoustic deterrent devices in reducing bycatch, and on monitoring a range of fisheries, including some for which monitoring is not required under Council Regulation 812/2004, but where cetacean bycatch is likely to occur at high enough levels to warrant monitoring under Article 12 of the Habitats Directive.
•Continue monitoring the levels of bycatch in certain fisheries, gear types and areas and extrapolate the data to reflect actual fishery effort to give an indication of the scale of overall bycatch levels, with an indication of the confidence limits.

•Help identify any specific fisheries and gear types causing bycatch, we have sought Ministerial approval and varied the monitoring areas outside of the regulations stipulations to do this.

•Include a 12 month break clause to allow us to alter this contract based on shifting bycatch issues and potential amendments to European and domestic policy and legislation.

•Three months of monitoring (Jan-March) will have been undertaken by the previous contractor and the data will need to be passed over should a new contractor be appointed.

For reports after 2017 see project ME6004.
Project Documents
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 report 2013 on 2012   (235k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 Report 2014 on 2013 Final   (1380k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 Report 2015 on 2014 Final   (1458k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 report for 2011 Final 052012   (586k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 Report for 2015   (1245k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 Report for 2016   (478k)
• ANN - Annual Report : UK 812 Report for 2017   (2549k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2017

Cost: £1,373,052
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of St Andrews