A spatial toolbox for the evaluation of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) bycatch in northern Peru.
Marine megafaunal bycatch, the accidental mortality and injury of non-target species, has been recognized since the 1970s as a major factor impacting marine mammal populations and their recovery. In this proposal, we outline an innovative and iterative approach that utilizes an open source GIS toolbox to conduct a spatially and temporally explicit bycatch risk assessment for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Our area of interest is centered on two fishing villages in northern Peru: Mancora and Cancas. ByRA is a flexible, transferable tool to identify gaps in research and support spatial planning and decision-making to address marine megafaunal bycatch.