At present, diagnosing bycatch in cetaceans from observations made on the beach lacks credibility among the scientific community.
Consequently bycatch statistics are based solely on animals that undergo a post-mortem examination by a veterinary pathologist.
As a result, a lot of valuable information from animals that are not subject to post-mortem examination is lost or ignored and the current data do not reflect the true scale of bycatch mortalities.
Objective of BEEP
The aims of the project are to:
The project will exploit the wide availability of digital photography to allow independent checking of the records and assessments made on the beach. Ideally, this study will bring together observers and data from several countries to establish the general validity of the method.
Note: This project is not intended to replace post-mortem examinations. However, it is hoped that this method may used in conjunction with post-mortem examinations and also in situations where post-mortems examinations are not possible because of factors such as inaccessibility of carcasses or because of post-mortem funding cuts.
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