In most fisheries, a number of species are unintentionally caught as bycatch while attempting to catch the targeted species. While much of the bycatch problem is technological in nature due to imperfect selectivity of the fishing gear, fisher behaviour also plays a major role. How, when and where fishers choose to fish can influence catch composition and thereby the quantity of bycatch. Behavioural changes can be encouraged through the development of an appropriate set of incentives — both economic and social — to avoid bycatch and reduce discarding. In this paper, a number of alternative incentive-based bycatch management systems are reviewed. The potential applicability of these systems to quota species, non-commercial species and threatened or conservation-dependent species (such as turtles, seals, dolphins) is reviewed, and examples of their application are presented. The review concludes that incentive-based approaches can reduce the level of bycatch and discarding in most fisheries.