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Ok, here's why I don't think these two pages should be merged. By-catch includes everything which is caught that isn't what you might consider "target species". That might be uncommercial stuff that ends up getting discarded, but bycatch also includes a lot of stuff that is retained and a lot of fishermen depend on commercial levels of "bycatch" for their economic survival (something that's not really touched on in the bycatch article), for instance landings (ie. not catch) of prawn fishermen in the North Sea are required by law to be at least 25% Nephrops norvegicus. Discards, on the other hand, are things which are specifically thrown back into the sea for one reason or another. Although discards are a form of bycatch, the two terms mean very different things to fisheries scientists and shouldn't be confused. At the moment there's an issue over cod stock recovery leading to discards of juvenile cod, and I think two separate articles highlighting the differences here are a useful thing. Anilocra (talk) 22:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Good point, and thanks for the clarification. However, since (as you say) "discards are a form of bycatch", why not make "Discards" into a separate section of the "Bycatch" article? This would be a lot clearer for the general reader and would eliminate the confusion caused by having to very similar articles under different titles. (If the Discards section grows too big, we could then split it off into a separate article with a summary section in Bycatch.)
Also, there's the problem that "Discards" has meaning outside commercial fishing - card games, for example. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 15:28, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
The Cetacean section under examples says "Unfortunately for the dolphins, "dolphin friendly" does not mean that dolphins were not killed in the production of a particular tin of tuna..." I believe the phrase "Unfortunately for the dolphins" is unencyclopedic and unsourced. I think this article needs a little work. Paulish (talk) 22:47, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Being involved in the study of insects, I often catch insects of groups outside my target groups. I, and many others in this business, refer to such untargeted insects as bycatch. I think it would be good to widen the description on Wikipedia such as to include also this kind of bycatch. Thanks. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 19:53, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Sure. Be bold and add a section at the end of the article describing applications of the term other than fish. But please cite what you add with a reliable source, so it is clear that the extended use is not confined just to you and your mates. --Epipelagic (talk) 06:36, 25 February 2010 (UTC)