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Science AMA Series: Hi Reddit! I’m NOAA scientist Lee Benaka. I work to reduce bycatch in U.S. ocean fisheries to ensure that our fisheries remain sustainable and that protected species are given their
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Hello Reddit! I’m Lee Benaka (Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology). While U.S. fisheries are among the world’s most sustainable, bycatch is a complex, global issue that threatens the sustainability and resiliency of our fishing communities, economies, and ocean ecosystems. NOAA Fisheries works hard to minimize bycatch in U.S. fisheries, ensuring our fisheries remain sustainable and protected species are given their best chance to recover. Bycatch occurs when fishermen catch and discard animals that they do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep. Discarded catch represents loss of opportunity for fishermen and too frequently, loss of marine life, which can impact vulnerable ecosystems and slow the rebuilding process for overfished stocks or place protected species at further risk. NOAA Fisheries works with fishermen, scientists, and managers to mitigate the negative effects of bycatch by developing innovative fishing gear and tracking bycatch through regular data collection. Bycatch is an issue that impacts the overall health of our oceans and the sustainability of our seafood industry. If you want to learn more about bycatch and how it can be reduced, this is your chance. I’ll be back at 10 am EST (7 am PST, 3 pm UTC) to answer your questions, Ask me anything! We are out of time, but I want to thank you for taking the time to join us for this Reddit AMA and asking your questions about bycatch. I was really impressed by the variety of great questions, as well as the respectful and helpful responses from other participants. I certainly learned a lot this morning! If you’re interested in learning more about bycatch and the work NOAA Fisheries and others are doing to reduce bycatch, please visit some of the following sites: Bycatch Portal [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/bycatch/index.html] Draft National Bycatch Strategy [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/bycatch/strategy.html] National Bycatch Report First Edition Update 2 [http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/observer-home/first-edition-update-2] 2014 BREP Report to Congress [http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/sfa/publications/feature_stories/2016/brep-2014-rtc.html] 2016 BREP Funding Opportunity [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/bycatch/brep.html] Bycatch video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz8q6uHSdmg] Leadership Message [http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/aboutus/leadership/feb_2016_leadership_message_tackling_bycatch.html] Bycatch 101 [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/bycatch/bycatch-101.html] Bycatch Bites [http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/stories/2016/02/bycatch_bites.html] AMA Landing Page [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2016/02/reddit_ama_bycatch.html] Inspiring Students through Fisheries Bycatch Research [http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/stories/021182016_fisheries_bycatch_research.html]