FAME - Coastal Fisheries Programme

Whales, dolphins and sea birds ID cards for Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Observers 

These identification cards were produced to help with the identification of species of special interest (protected species) encountered by fisheries observers while onboard commercial tuna fishing vessels. Observers collect information about sightings of these species and about interactions between these species and fishing activity and/or fishing gear. Regional requirements are in place for observers to report on interactions of fishing activities with species of special interest and on mitigation methods employed by the vessel to reduce the likelihood of these associations and the possible impacts on the animals, such as injuries.

As seen in these cards, there is a wide range of species of special interest. Most of these species are infrequently encountered and some are difficult to identify as they are very similar to other species. When observers collect information about these species their ability to accurately identify the rarer species is often crucial; for instance, for rare species a small change in their population numbers has a proportionally greater significance. This handy waterproof pocket guide is another part of SPC’s continuous efforts to ensure observers are trained and have the information tools to produce data as accurate and as robust to scrutiny as possible. It comes in complement to the PIRFO purse seine fish ID cards published by SPC in 2014, and the Marine species identification manual for horizontal longline fishermen published in 2008

The cards are printed on plastic and form a pocket-size booklet, easy to carry onboard fishing vessels. They include the description of 30 species.

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