New Research Reveals Bycatch Hotspots

A map of bycatch hotspots. (Photo: Rebecca L. Lewison, et al. “Global patterns of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle bycatch reveal taxa-specific and cumulative megafauna hotspots.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Early Edition. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1318960111)

Out on the water, fishermen are notorious for both catching non-target fish and for entangling or killing many other marine animals, including dolphins, seals, whales, and sea turtles. Known as “bycatch,” these victims usually end up dead and thrown back overboard. The severity of the bycatch problem around the world has been uncertain, until now, because it can be difficult to gather data about just how many animals are caught as bycatch