Bycatch Reduction Devices

NMFS decertified the Expanded Mesh and the Gulf Fisheye bycatch reduction device (BRD) designs in 2008 because the devices do not meet current BRD certification criteria. However, workshops testing currently certified BRDs show few, if any, BRDs can reliably meet the criteria to reduce finfish bycatch 30 percent by weight, which suggests the criteria must be reconsidered given current technology.

The SSA has asked that NMFS perform a new, updated bycatch practicability analysis to determine if current BRD requirements exceed, and are thus inconsistent with, the Magnuson-Stevens Act bycatch reduction criteria. To date NMFS has not agreed to this request and the issue is under continued discussion.

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