Observer Training Workshop on Bird and Sea Turtle Bycatch Data Collection in West Africa

From 15 to 22 December 2018, a regional workshop was held in Dakar, Senegal, to train observers on the collection of data concerning bird and sea turtle by-catch in West Africa. This training is part of MAVA’s Action Plan aiming to minimise by-catch of seabirds and sea turtles in West African industrial fisheries, implemented by BirdLife International.

For eight days, 21 observers and fishermen from Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone, as well as BirdLife International’s Bycatch Project Instructors, were trained in the protocols for collecting data on seabird and sea turtle by-catch. The training also covered other important aspects such as the identification of bird and sea turtle species present in the region; safety and marine survival techniques.

Participants were also trained in the different techniques for reducing by-catch of birds and sea turtles in industrial fisheries, including Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs), scaring lines, hook spinning techniques, and hook models, which help reduce bird and sea turtle by-catch during fishing activities, among others. This introduction is an important component to raise awareness on the need to reduce by-catch among fishing stakeholders.

This training marks an important milestone for the collection of data concerning bird and sea turtle by-catch by industrial fisheries in the 7 countries.

Some media reports on the training:

Senegalese TV 2STV (as from 17th minute)

Journal Le Quotidien

Trade FM (as from 10th minute)

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