Challenges to incentivizing avoidance of unwanted catch

The cartoon graphically and effectively illustrates and promotes the recently completed Themed Set in the ICES Journal of Marine Science on Challenges to incentivizing avoidance of unwanted catch. The cartoon, alongside a pretty good summary of the findings, also appears at the ICES website.

The 18 open-access articles in the Set (plus an Introduction) cover three major topics including a range of human behavioural models to understand motivations and incentives in use of selective gears by fishers and others, challenges to cooperative spatio-temporal avoidance of bycatch, and other relevant technical or other measures to reduce bycatch.

The set includes possibly the last publication by Sarah Kraak. Credit is due to her for initiating the Themed Set and acting as its major driving force before her tragic death in early 2022. To those of you who knew her, I hope you find that she is appropriately acknowledged and recognized in the Set.

My involvement in these questions of uptake of proven fishing gears grew out of a Topic Group at WGFTFB, Steve Eayrs having overcome my resistance to participating. That’s a pretty strong example of the relevance and impact of WGFTFB’s activities and of the value of our collective experience and wisdom.

I hope you find the Set useful. There is still a lot to be learned on the subject!

Mike Pol, Ph.D

DEMaT 2022 proceedings

Proceedings of the 15th international DEMaT workshop (12-15 September 2022) hosted by the University of Rostock in Germany (Download)


Save the Date – 2024 Annual WGFTFB meeting in Canada!

We are excited to share information for our 2024 Annual meeting (WGFTFB24).

Paul Winger and the group at the Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada will be our hosts (

The dates will be 3-7 June 2024.

Mark your calendar and reserve some flume tank time with Paul, if that is on your radar.

This will be a hybrid meeting in that we will share presentations and take questions via video platform.

Presenting, events, and demonstrations will be in-person only. More details to come.

We look forward to seeing you in St. John’s!

The current Chairs (Anto, Daniel, Jon) and the new Chair 2024 (Noëlle)

Bottom longline impact

Bottom longline impact

I am searching for any material describing or evaluating the bottom impact of bottom longlining or any other environmental impact generated from bottom longlining. I have seen that longlines tend to generate more ALDFG than other gears.

  1. Does anyone have results showing the same or different?
  2. How about references about directly impacting some specific bottom fauna, like long-living coral?
  3. We know set longlines (on the bottom) have a lesser impact than most other fishing gears. Can we quantify? Do we have research studies?

I would appreciate it if anyone could provide relevant references or grey literature.

Haraldur Arnar Einarsson

First Call for abstracts to ICES/FAO WGFTFB23

The International ICES/FAO WG on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) taking place 13-17 February 2023 (Kochi, India) will be the first physical meeting since 2019, and as such will be an important event for relaunching the groups primary function of exchanging important research findings, innovations and building of dynamic new networks and collaborations.

Call for Abstract(s)

Oral and poster presentations are the main mechanism for the exchange of information.  This mail serves as a first call for abstract submissions. We invite proposals for two types of presentations:
1. Oral Presentations (formal presentations and slides) (*)
2. Poster Presentations

(*) if time slots for presentations are limited, some abstracts for oral presentation may be accepted for poster presentation.

Topic Areas.

There is no limitation to the topic of your abstract – apart from relevance for WGFTFB. Topics could include for example:

– research related to fishing gears

– modelling approaches

– implementation and implications for fisheries management

– behaviour of animals related to the catch process

– new ideas and projects

– technical solutions to help investigations

– technical issues that need addressing

Proposal Submission

Interested presenters should submit an abstract using the form:, summarising the proposed presentation and indicating to which (if any) Topic Group the abstract relates to. Submissions will be judged on relevance to the working group themes, clarity of thought, data/documented results, fit within the meeting program and other criteria.

NOTE: The deadline for abstract submission is 12th December 2022.

Meeting Registration

All presenters are required to register online at:

Registration is free of charge for WGFTFB members (Regular and Chair-invited members).

For more details on online registration, abstract submission, accommodation, flight, and venue, please visit our website

Important dates
12th December 2022. Deadline for Abstract Submission
12th January 2023. Notification of Acceptance

13th January 2023: Meeting registration deadline

6th February 2023. Deadline for National Report Submission
13-17 February 2023. WGFTFB23 Meeting Dates.

We look forward to see you at the WGFTFB23 meeting.
Antonello, Daniel, and Jon (WGFTFB Chairs)




Underwater footages in bottom trawling

Underwater footages in bottom trawling

I am involved in a project focused on understanding, through underwater footage in bottom trawling, the efficacy of selection grids and gaining basic information on the behaviour of fish/shrimps towards them. Hauls will be performed at depths ranging from 100 to 200 m.

In my institute, we have always worked with GoPros and deepwater housings associated with lights (see the images attached), but sometimes, especially in dark and/or high turbidity environment, the footages are not usable.

Do you have any alternative or advice on the best solution to obtain useful footages during trawl hauls to monitor escapees from selection devices and some behaviour information?

We use these devices on commercial vessels, so we need easy-handling equipment.

Andrea Petetta, CNR IRBIM

REGISTRATION OPEN: ICES-FAO WGFTFB23 Meeting Location and Dates – Kochi, India 13-17 Feb 2023

The WGFTFB23 Registration is now open!

Please register as early as possible to facilitate meeting planning: or

Please note registrations can be changed/canceled at later dates if necessary. At this stage, we need an estimate of potential numbers.


SAVE THE DATE: ICES-FAO WGFTFB23 (Cochin, India, 13-17 Feb 2023)

During the recent FAO Committee on Fisheries meeting (COFI35), interest in co-hosting WGFTFB23 was communicated by the government of India and today we are now able to confirm this.

The agreed WGFTFB23 dates and location are as follows:

  • dates 13-17 February 2023
  • location, Cochin, India

The meeting is being planned as being primarily a physical one. 

If necessary, online participation will also be considered and confirmed at a later date.

Please block your calendars and initiate necessary travel requests. An information note with confirmed venue details, accommodation recommendations and visa requirements will follow ASAP.  In the following weeks a more formal meeting invite along with key dates for meeting preparations and contributions will be circulated.

As co-hosts, FAO will work with India’s Department of Fisheries of the Ministry and with Bay of Bengal Programme – Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO) to organize this meeting.  This will be the first physical WGFTFB meeting in three years and we sincerely hope that as many members as possible are able to join and help make this upcoming meeting and symposium a huge success.  Additionally, this will be the first time a WGFTFB meeting to be held in Southern Asia, which is a great achievement in itself, providing an opportunity to collaborate with fisheries technicians and scientists from both India and the wider Asian region.

Cochin (also known as Kochi) is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. This is a beautiful region and offers the possibility for meeting participants who may have the time to stay some extra days and enjoy some tourism. We hope to see as many of you as possible present at the meeting and look forward to working with you and BOBP-IGO to make this a memorable and fruitful meeting and symposium for all concerned.


Please direct any questions to and

Best regards,

The WGFTFB chairs: Jon Lansley, Antonello Sala, and Daniel Stepputtis

FAO Webinar on Fishing Gear Recycling

Cloud Recording and Presentations – FAO Webinar on Fishing Gear Recycling: Technical/scientific discussion and case studies and practical examples is now available

From 2020 onwards, the Fishing Technology and Operations team (NFIFO) at FAO has been collaborating closely with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the joint IMO/FAO GloLitter Partnerships project (

GloLitter assists developing countries in preventing and reducing marine plastic litter from the maritime transport and fisheries sectors through the implementation of relevant international instruments: MARPOL Annex V, London Convention/London Protocol and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear. IMO leads activities related to the shipping industry, while FAO leads activities related to the fishing industry with a particular focus on addressing concerns about Abandoned, Lost and otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG).

In 2022, the GloLitter FAO-NFIFO team began work to develop a background study on Fishing Gear Recycling that aims to:

  • identify the current practices and mechanisms allowing the recycling of unwanted fishing gear (including end-of-life fishing gear and retrieved ALDFG) and EPR;
  • how these practices could be incentivised or possibly regulated; and
  • define opportunities and challenges that such practices/mechanisms present.

The final deliverable will be a GloLitter knowledge product that will subsequently be used for knowledge sharing and dissemination.

As part of this work, FAO-NFIFO organised two 1-day GloLitter Webinars on Fishing Gear Recycling on October 10-11, 2022.

The first day (10/Oct/2022) was more scientific/technically oriented, while the second day (11/Oct/2022) allowed selected stakeholders to present their case studies or examples dealing with fishing gear recycling.

*** Open the Final_Agenda ***

Webinar links to Cloud recordings and presentations can be asked to