What is Human Bycatch?

Quck answer

Human bycatch refers to the unintended capture or harm of humans during activities such as fishing, warfare, or industrial operations. It is a term commonly associated with the fishing industry, where it refers to the accidental capture of non-target species, including humans. This can occur when fishing nets or gear are not properly selective, resulting in the entanglement or injury of individuals. Human bycatch can have severe consequences, leading to injuries or even fatalities. Efforts are being made to mitigate human bycatch through improved fishing techniques, gear modifications, and stricter regulations to protect both marine life and human safety.

Imagine you are taking a peaceful walk in nature, observing animals and enjoying the tranquility of the day. Suddenly, you come across a rare flower and decide to take a closer look. Unexpectedly, bright lights blind you and you hear loud snapping sounds. You quickly retreat from the flower, but the snapping continues.

Are you being followed by paparazzi? No, but it may feel that way. Instead, you have become the unintentional subject of a camera trap. The trap captured your image because you approached the flower it was concealed behind. You have become human bycatch!

Human bycatch occurs when cameras that are intended for studying nature end up capturing images of people. This often happens with camera traps, which are designed to take a photo when they detect motion. Scientists place these traps in natural environments or on drones to capture images of wildlife.

What happens to the pictures taken by the camera? Will a scientist study them in a laboratory? Well, that is a possibility! Generally, researchers do not set up cameras to specifically capture images of humans. However, they sometimes utilize pictures of human bycatch to gain insights into human behavior.

In many cases, human bycatch has resulted in the documentation of individuals breaking the law. Surprisingly, this occurs more frequently than one might imagine. A study conducted in 2018 surveyed 235 scientists and found that over 90 percent of them had encountered human bycatch in their images. Out of that 90 percent, half of them had shared these images with law enforcement agencies.

Human bycatch evokes mixed feelings among many individuals. The idea of being photographed by strangers often creates discomfort and raises concerns about privacy. Consequently, some argue that human bycatch infringes upon personal privacy. However, there have been positive outcomes as well. Camera traps have aided in the apprehension of animal poachers, thus curbing poaching activities and safeguarding wildlife.

Nevertheless, many people would prefer not to be unexpectedly captured on camera. In certain instances, human bycatch can pose challenges for researchers. Once people realize they have been photographed, they may resort to stealing or damaging the cameras. Others simply cover the cameras, preventing them from capturing images of wildlife as well.

Is human bycatch a violation of privacy? Do individuals have the right to not be photographed against their will? Many argue in favor of this viewpoint. To address this issue, some researchers refuse to utilize images that include people. Others opt to obscure the faces of human bycatch to protect their privacy. Additionally, some researchers are developing advanced technology that can distinguish and avoid photographing humans.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Is it acceptable for camera traps to capture images of people? Should these images be used for research purposes? Handed over to authorities? Discarded? How can scientists balance the need to protect privacy while still studying wildlife?

Try It Out

Ask an adult to assist you in exploring further through one or more of the activities listed below.

Exploring Human Bycatch and Wildlife Study with Camera Traps

Have you ever thought about the concept of human bycatch? Is it an intrusion of personal privacy or a necessary measure for nature research? I encourage you to express your thoughts on this matter by writing a persuasive letter or email to a friend or family member. Remember to provide compelling reasons and examples to support your viewpoint.

While human bycatch is a concerning issue, it’s not limited to just humans. Other species are also affected, and the consequences can be even more perilous. Take some time to delve into the topic of bycatch in Earth’s oceans. Afterward, create an informative poster that can enlighten others about this issue. What are the crucial facts that need to be highlighted? How can we contribute to solving this problem? Share the knowledge you gained with someone close to you.

Camera traps play a vital role in helping scientists study wildlife, and they also capture some astonishing photographs. Take a look at these incredible camera trap images. Engage in a discussion with a friend or family member about the benefits of camera traps in scientific research.

Wonder Sources

  • Visit onezero.medium.com (accessed 09 Dec. 2019) for more on wildlife cameras and human bycatch.
  • For additional insights on human bycatch, conservation, surveillance, and social implications of camera traps, refer to environmentandsociety.org (accessed 09 Dec. 2019).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *