Dealteris Associates Inc. to NMFS NEFSC
Summary:Leaders in offshore, deep water pound nets in the Virginia portion of Chesapeake Bay incidentally take protected sea turtles. To reduce this take, federal resource managers restricted the use of traditional leaders during periods of peak sea turtle strandings. In response to these restrictions, a modified leader was developed. Testing of the new design in 2004 and 2005 indicated that the modified leader significantly reduced sea turtle interactions. Finfish were also sampled from the nets in the study, with results showing no difference in catch weights of four finfish species and the experimental leader harvesting significantly more of a fifth species than the control.