Cetacean by-catch: casting the net for solutions

10 Apr 2018 18:00 - 19:45

By-catch is defined as the accidental entanglement of non-target species in fishing gear and has global impact on many species, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). 

The UK government has been funding the investigation and mitigation of cetacean by-catch in UK waters for many years, including through a long-term study on strandings that is coordinated by ZSL. The collaborative Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) has been investigating UK stranded cetaceans since 1990, by conducting post-mortem examinations to try to learn more about the threats these species face.

The CSIP described one of the first unusual mortality events linked to by-catch impact, during a large scale stranding event in Cornwall in 1992. It has also found by-catch to be the most common cause of mortality over the 27 year history of the programme, with over 730 cases diagnosed during the 3700 post-mortem examinations which have been carried out since 1990. In this meeting, speakers will explore the issue of cetacean by-catch and what we have learnt about this threat in the UK. 

Which species are affected and what does the pathology of stranded cetaceans examined at post-mortem tell us about the welfare impact of by-catch?  What are the policy drivers for investigating by-catch and mitigating against it at both a UK and a European level? And what can be done in the future to try to reduce the impact of by-catch on threatened cetacean species?

Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.

  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, ZSL London Zoo. See map

  • Underground – Camden Town Station; Nearest bus - no. 274

  • Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.

  • Seats are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

  • A drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests is held from 5 – 5:50pm.  More information on ZSL Fellowship can be found here.

Book a 3-course dinner with the speakers

  • All attendees are welcome to attend a 3-course dinner with the speakers after the event. 

  • Dinner places cost £35 per person (including 2 glasses of wine).  Booking will be available on this webpage 1 month prior to the event.


  • Contact Jennifer Howes, Scientific Events Coordinator jennifer.howes@zsl.org; 0207 449 6227

  • For press enquiries please contact the ZSL Press Office: press.office@zsl.org

  • Sign up to receive email updates about forthcoming ZSL Science and Conservation Event

Learn more about cetaceans and by-catch; CSI of the Sea: online post-mortem event

  • Monday 12 March 2018, 19:00 GMT
  • Online Live-streamed Event

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, 19:00 GMT, 12 March

Join us for an online-only post-mortem event with the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) to find out more about by-catch.

Every year around 600 porpoises, dolphins and whales strand around the UK coast. Why do these stranding events occur and what role does by-catch (accidental entanglement in fishing gear) play? Following the success of previous events at the Zoological Society of London, join us for a very special online-only event as you join us live behind-the-scenes of ZSL for the opportunity to see a cetacean post-mortem, revealing the important work of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).