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Summary:The potential of modifying gillnets to reduce shark bycatch was investigated in the US Spanish mackerel and spot gillnet fisheries. The modified net had larger floats on the head-rope and inreased weight on the lead-line to increase the tension of the net. Results showed that the catch rate of some shark species was significantly reduced in the modified gillnets. Target catch rates of Spanish mackerel did not differ significantly between control and modified nets of the same mesh size.