Evaluation of a pound net leader designed to reduce sea turtle bycatch

Silva, R.D., DeAlteris, J.T. and Milliken, H.O.
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Marine Fisheries Review
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An experimental leader design was tested on pound nets in the Chesapeake Bay in 2004 and 2005 to determine their effectiveness in reducing the incidental catches of sea turtles.  The experimental design consisted of replacing the top two thirds of the traditional mesh panel leader with vertical ropes spaced 61 cm apart. During the study, 21 sea turtles interacted with the control net, while only 1 interaction with the experimental net occurred, which was a significant difference.  In addition, there was no significant differences in the harvest weight or size selectivity of finfish between the two net types, although these results were not considered very robust.