||The six countries participating in the Sustainable management of bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean trawl fisheries (REBYC-II LAC) project in the Latin America and Caribbean
(LAC) region – Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago -
are sharing water and marine resources in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Shrimp/bottom
trawl fisheries constitute an important part of the total marine fisheries economy in the project
countries contributing to employment, local incomes, food security and foreign exchange
Tropical and subtropical shrimp/bottom trawl fishing is highly multispecies and the quantity
of bycatch amounts up to 10-15 times more than the quantity of the targeted (shrimp) catch (in
quantity). This bycatch is composed mainly of juveniles of targeted species of other fisheries
and non-targeted species, small-sized fish species and incidentally caught turtles. Furthermore,
the shrimp trawling may cause destruction of sensitive seabed habitats which is a concern. In
general, shrimp and other key target species in the project countries are overexploited.
Because of generally decreasing catches and increasing costs of operation, many fishers find it difficult to maintain the profitability of their operations. The root causes of these problems include the economic reality of the private fisheries sector and global drivers such as growing
demand for fishery products.