Bycatch, the unintentional capture of non-target animals during fishing, is recognised as a major threat to marine species globally, particularly marine mammals, seabirds, turtles and sensitive fish species, as well as the ecosystems that rely on these creatures. Yet monitoring of these species and their interactions with fishing in such a dynamic and challenging environment has often been ineffective.
Advancements in bycatch mitigation and elimination have lagged behind the urgency of the issue, with many proposed solutions failing to adequately take into account the differing realities of diverse fisheries and lacking sufficient input from relevant industry and policy stakeholders.


Marine Beacon will address gaps in current understanding of how bycatch impacts protected, endangered and threatened species (PETS) and work with fisheries, policy and conservation stakeholders to develop and test innovative tools and techniques for better monitoring of important species and mitigating risks of bycatch, to ensure healthier seas and more sustainable fisheries.

The project has six specific key objectives:

  • Engage with key stakeholder groups to build mutual understanding on how to effectively mitigate against the bycatch of PETS.
  • Improve our knowledge of how PETS intersect with bycatch and identify how improved survey and monitoring design can fill gaps in data.
  • Evaluate the specific risk posed by fisheries bycatch to the vulnerability status of PETS.
  • Advance next generation monitoring solutions, design optimal monitoring programmes and accelerate EU monitoring programmes to better achieve EU biodiversity strategy 2030 targets for eliminating or reducing PETS bycatch.
  • Develop state of the art mitigation solutions that reduce bycatch and where possible eliminate associated mortalities.
  • Create integrated bycatch management decision support tools to help Member States’ respective management programmes achieve their objectives.

Expected results

By inclusively collaborating with key stakeholders will ensure that new, cutting-edge monitoring and mitigation tools are effective and feasible, providing long-term applicability and impact beyond the lifetime of the project. All this in order to help the recovery of these ecosystems and their services that directly affect the well-being of society.

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2024 – 2028


Marine Beacon brings together 21 research, technology, and fisheries partners from 9 countries: Marine Institute (IE), ERINN (IE), AZTI (ES), HAFRANNSOKNASTOFNUN (IS), DTU (DK), IFREMER (FR), ATU (IE), EV ILVO (BE), UCC (IE), La Rochelle Universite (FR), CSIC (ES), Universidad De Santiago De Compostela (ES), DEFRA (UK), Anchor Lab  (DK), Fishmetrics, (PT) Kitware Sas (FR), Universidade Dos Acores (PT), IMAR (PT) Affiliated, i2S (FR), Marport France (FR), Sustainable Fisheries Greenland



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