Call for tender - Marine Consultant

Application deadline: 
Friday, 1. October 2021 - 11:00


1.1. Introduction to the organization

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of autonomous, national non-governmental conservation organisations, with a large grassroots membership, in 120 countries and territories. BirdLife works together as a Partnership to conserve wild birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, by working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is the regional division of BirdLife International, one of six BirdLife regional offices around the world. It is composed of an international team of permanent staff working on conservation, capacity building, policy, management, finance, fundraising, advocacy, science, communication, marketing and administration. BirdLife Europe supports the European and Central Asia Partnership of BirdLife International, which consists of 48 independent, grassroots Civil Society Organisations, governed by a democratic programme. 

1.2. Introduction to the project

This study will be conducted in the framework of the MedBycatch project - a partnership between the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Center (SPA/RAC) of the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UN Environment/MAP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med), BirdLife Europe and Central Asia (BL ECA), the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET) and WWF.

The MedBycatch project aims to address knowledge gaps regarding the bycatch of vulnerable species during fishing operations in the Mediterranean, test mitigation measures, and support the formulation of national/regional strategies to reduce incidental catches and support the sustainability of fisheries. Project implementation involves field observation programmes (on-board, at landing sites and through self-sampling) across different fishing gear (bottom trawls, gillnets, longlines, purse seines), together with training, awareness raising, and identification and testing of mitigation measures. It aims to develop tools and build knowledge applicable to the entire Mediterranean and Black Sea area and beyond. In this context, a standardized regional protocol for data collection on incidental catches of vulnerable species – elasmobranchs, sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and macrobenthic invertebrates – has been developed. The project plans to leverage change within all coastal Mediterranean countries on the issue of incidental catch of vulnerable species, including through communication and advocacy activities with the fishing industries and decision makers.


BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is looking for a consultant to undertake a study to assess how the incidental capture or bycatch of sensitive species has been addressed through the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy[1] (CFP), and related legislation, including the Data Collection Framework Regulation[2] (DCFR) and the Technical Measures Regulation[3] (TMR).

The CFP requires Member States to collect data to enable an assessment of the impact that fishing activities have on marine biological resources and on marine ecosystems. The DCFR states that this should include data on bycatch of non-target species, in particular species protected under Union or international law.

The TMR includes as an objective to ensure that incidental catches of sensitive marine species that are a result of fishing, are minimised and where possible eliminated so that they do not represent a threat to the conservation status of these species. The CFP sets out the process for the adoption of conservation measures necessary for Member States to fulfil their obligations under EU environmental legislation, such as the Birds and Habitats Directives (BHD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), including to tackle bycatch of sensitive species. It also defines the roles, competencies, and obligations of the different parties (EU Member States, European Commission, advisory bodies[4] etc.) involved in the process of establishing conservation measures.

To date there has been limited progress in establishing adequate data collection frameworks and programmes to provide accurate and reliable data on bycatch of sensitive species, and in establishing conservation measures to reduce the bycatch of sensitive species.

This study should take stock of the current situation and examine the reasons for the lack of progress in addressing the problem of bycatch of sensitive species. It should take the form of a report written in English with a maximum length of 30 pages (excluding annexes).

Specifically, the study should:

  • Assess the extent to which EU multiannual programmes for data collection, and national data collection programmes ensure adequate collection of data on bycatch of sensitive species.
  • Compile information on conservation measures that have been adopted through the CFP and TMR that aim to reduce the incidental capture of sensitive species, including conservation measures adopted by Members States applying to their own vessels, measures contained within multiannual plans (MAPs), and joint recommendations submitted by Member States.
  • Examine the reasons for the deficiencies of the current regional cooperation process for the establishment of conservation measures provided for by Article 18 of the CFP, as well as the failure of the different parties involved (e.g. European Commission, Member States) to establish adequate measures to address bycatch of sensitive species.
  • Produce case studies to illustrate how the CFP provisions have been implemented in reality, and identify the weaknesses of the current implementation.

(Case studies should include the complaints by NGOs regarding cetacean bycatch in Bay of Biscay and bycatch of Baltic harbour porpoise in the Baltic Sea fisheries).

  • Develop recommendations on the actions and processes needed to properly implement the provisions in the CFP, and related legislation, to address the bycatch of sensitive species, and to ensure compliance with EU environmental legislation.


  1. Draft study report (a minimum of 3 weeks should be foreseen for BirdLife and other project Partners to review and comment on a first draft of the report[5])
  1. Final study report including recommendations (a minimum of 1 week should be foreseen for review of the final report).
  1. A two-page brief presenting the main findings and recommendations of the study.


  • A relevant academic degree, or equivalent experience on fisheries management/ marine conservation etc.
  • Good knowledge and experience of the EU Common Fisheries Policy and its implementation.
  • Good understanding of the issue of bycatch of sensitive species.
  • Knowledge of the EU institutions and other relevant structures related to fisheries management in the EU.
  • Experience of producing technical publications/reports.
  • Ability to speak and write English fluently.


Prospective consultants are invited to submit proposals before Friday 1st October 2021 12:00 CET. Proposals should be sent to (by email only) and include the following:

  • A cover letter stating how the consultant meets the required qualifications (max. 1 page)
  • The CV(s) of the person(s) who will be responsible for undertaking the study. In the case of a team the role and responsibilities of each individual should be detailed.
  • A short description of the proposed approach to the study (max. 1 page).
  • A work plan including a proposed start and end date.
  • A financial proposal in Euros (VAT excluded).

Payments will be made upon the satisfactory completion and submission of the outputs/deliverables, as outlined in the work contract.

The price for the tender must be quoted in Euros. Tenderers from countries outside the euro zone must quote their prices in Euros. The price quoted may not be revised in line with exchange rate movements. It is for the tenderer to assume the risks or the benefits deriving from any variation.

The approximate budget available for the study is €8,000 excl. VAT