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Pasco Joins LSG Team as Better BRD Program Manager

Photo: Tiffany Pasco

Tiffany Pasco has joined the Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) team as manager of the Better Bycatch Reduction Device Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marine science from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and her master’s degree in oceanography from Louisiana State University (LSU). Before joining LSG, she worked for the Freshwater Ecology Group in the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources.

Pasco and a group of specialists will identify the best new bycatch-reducing technology to decrease commercial shrimp trawl pressure on finfish populations and develop cost-effective solutions and incentives to encourage shrimpers to use the improved technology. Bycatch is any non-target species caught while shrimping. Bycatch reduction devices (BRD) allow finfish to escape with hopefully few shrimp escaping through the same opening.

The Better Bycatch Reduction Device Program is a partnership with Texas Sea Grant that builds on finfish restoration goals for the Gulf of Mexico. Pasco will work with the shrimp fleet in both states to learn what they currently use for bycatch reduction and see if there are other devices or modifications they use that could be certified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is also looking at international fisheries for ideas on devices and modifications that may work in the Gulf.

In order to promote use of BRDs and help fishermen install and use them properly, workshops and other trainings will take place as part of the project, and incentives will be made available. Pasco hopes to develop a good working relationship with commercial shrimpers to reduce any industry concerns and enhance BRD use.