This sub-project will complement the spatial management investigation by developing the necessary tools to utilize biodiversity offsets firstly for threatened marine species and secondly exploring how they might be applied beyond TEPs to other bycatch species and impacted habitats. The primary focus of this project will be on the applications of offset programs to alleviate the effects of fisheries bycatch. By reducing the level of concern for bycatch species through offsets, the spatial constraints required to ensure that economic activities in the marine system do not cause unacceptable threats to biodiversity can potentially be eased. For instance, fisheries closures are a means of reducing residual bycatch which is not prevented by gear or fishing operation modifications. However, closures are a very expensive tool politically, socially and economically. Thus if closures can be avoided, and other more benign spatial incentives can be used to reduce other biodiversity concerns marine industries may be able to maintain their profitability while reducing their biodiversity impacts to or even below sustainable levels.

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