Getting Involved: Beating Bycatch while at U of M

  1. Buy sustainable seafood!

What is sustainable seafood? 

“Sustainable seafood is fish and shellfish caught for human consumption by fishermen operating under sustainable fishery management systems that conserve fish stocks and the ecosystems that support them.”

What makes a fishery sustainable?

Maintaining a sustainable fishery is an important balance that involves accounting for a number of competing factors, such as the population dynamics of different species of fish. In recent years, some have taken advantage of machine learning technology to strive for improvements in the industry. One such example is a fishery policy simulator called POSEIDON, which allows for one to visualize the predicted impacts, both on the ecosystem and the markets, that implementing a new strategy for sustainability would have.

Click here to learn more about sustainable fisheries!

2. Stay educated!

An important aspect of putting a stop to issues like this is staying aware and alert of developments that impact them. This allows for one to effectively advocate for the reduction of bycatch, as mentioning the types of steps that are being taken to mitigate its impact provide hope for the future.

One such example of a more recent technological development that leaves many hopeful for the future is the turtle excluder device. Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) are a newer fishing technology that have started being implemented in an attempt to reduce the harm to turtles as a result of bycatch. TEDs are included in traditional shrimp or trawling nets, and involve an opening that allows for turtles to escape if they end up getting trapped in the net. In addition, the transition from J-hooks to circle hooks on longline fishing enterprises would reduce the potential harm to turtles.

Click here to learn more about TEDs!


3. Share what you know! Encourage others to learn more about bycatch and make these lifestyle changes as well!

Perhaps the most important aspect in getting involved and putting a stop to bycatch is serving as an advocate and informing those you know of what is happening. The more people who are aware of and upset by bycatch, the more that can be done to finally make a change.