A potential approach for the estimation of the number of interactions of longline fleets operating in the ICCAT convention area with sea turtles is presented. Information on the area of operation of 19 longline fleets fishing in the Atlantic in 2009 was obtained from the ICCAT EFFDIS database. From a literature review, sea turtle bycatch rates were identified for 6 fleets. Bycatch rates were assigned to the 13 fleets without sea turtle bycatch rates based on their temporal and spatial overlap with fleets with known bycatch rates. Total number of sea turtle interactions were estimated using the assigned sea turtle bycatch rates to each fleet as well as the total number of hooks deployed by the fleets. Catch per unit effort values from ICCAT longline fleets were then compared to other gear types in the Atlantic to determine the relative impacts of longlining on sea turtles. Bycatch is a significant threat to many marine species, including sea turtles. For mitigation measures to be adopted and successfully implemented, the negative effect of fisheries on sea turtle populations needs to be determined and quantified. Further advancing this work will require updating the current ICCAT EFFDIS database so it can be used as source of effort (number of hooks) information.
Gray, C. McKee, "A General Approach to Estimate the number of sea turtle interactions with pelagic longline gear in the ICCAT convention area" (2015). Internship Reports (Restricted). 59.
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