ISLAMABAD   -   Bycatch from fishing nets is causing the accidental death of hundreds of thousands of seabirds, seals, turtles and dolphins across the globe each year, a study warned. In response, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Sky Ocean Rescue have called for fishing vessels to be remotely monitored with cameras, to help address the issue. According to the WWF’s ‘What’s in the net?’ report, millions of sharks, at least 720,000 seabirds and 345,000 seals or sealions are accidentally caught each year. 

These are joined by more than 250,000 turtles and 300,000 cetaceans such as dolphins. The WWF called on the UK to take the lead in tackling these losses. Unsustainable fishing is a major threat to wildlife, with vessels often — either unintentionally or illegally and on purpose — catch species that they are not interested in or are prohibited from taking and selling, experts have said. Protecting threatened or endangered species which get caught as bycatch in fishing gear is only possible, however, if effective ways to tackle the problem are developed.