Take Reduction Team (TRT)
Team is relative term as not everyone is playing for the same endgame. TRTs are required under the MMPA for populations of marine mammals who are not able to recover because accidental bycatch in commercial fisheries. NMFS convenes a TRT by appointing representatives from the commercial fisheries involved, state and federal agencies, and appointed experts from conservation groups and scientific institutions.
The ultimate goal of a TRT is to work together to develop a Take Reduction Plan (TRP) The TRP should reduce bycatch of the marine mammal species to negligible levels within five years. Ideally, all members of the TRT all agree on the measures included in the draft TRP and give it to NMFS. The draft TRP is reviewed by NMFS which then allows the public to provide input. After reviewing the input, the TRP is finalized and new regulatory measures go into place, whales and dolphins don’t get accidentally caught in fishing gear, and everyone lives happily ever after. But the TRT is not a fairy tale and real lives, both marine mammals and humans, can be severely impacted by the regulatory measures in the final TRP.
WDC currently holds appointed seats on the Atlantic Large Whale, Harbor Porpoise and Atlantic Trawl Gear TRTs.