The report of the FAO meeting to Develop International Guidelines on Bycatch Management and Reduction of Discards contains the finalised draft text. It was produced by participants of the Technical Consultation held in Rome, Italy, 6–10 December 2010. The
Consultation was convened by the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations upon the recommendation of the Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries. The Consultation was funded by the Government of Norway and the FAO Regular Programme.

The reduction or elimination of bycatch, catch by lost or abandoned gear, fish discards and post-harvest losses have been recognised by many international bodies, including the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly, as a major challenge. It is estimated that some 20 million tons of juvenile fish and other marine life are killed as bycatch or discards per year. Among the species affected are also marine turtles, mammals and birds. A key quote (in italics) from the guidelines:

7.1 States and RFMO/As should ensure that bycatch management and discard reduction measures are:
(i) binding;
(ii) clear and direct;
(iii) measurable;
(iv) science-based;
(v) ecosystem-based;
(vi) ecologically efficient;
(vii) practical and safe;
(viii) socio-economically efficient;
(ix) enforceable;
(x) collaboratively developed with industry and stakeholders; and
(xi) fully implemented.

Enforcement is the key challenge, particularly for guidelines likes this and even for all legally binding laws and regulations.

The bibiographical reference for citation is

FAO, 2010. Report of the Technical Consultation to Develop International Guidelines on Bycatch Management and
Reduction of Discards. Rome, 6–10 December 2010. Rome, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. 957:32p.

Click here to download the report.