Fishery-specific solutions to seabird bycatch in the U.S. West Coast sablefish fishery


Gladics, A.J., Melvin, E., Suryan, R.M., Good, T.P., Jannot, J.E., and Guy, T.J.



Journal/Publisher Name: 

Fisheries Research

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E-mail address: (A.J. Gladics)

The study assessed the efficacy of applying bird scaring line regulations from the demersal longline fishery in Alaska to a similar fishery along the U.S. West Coast. However, unlike in the  Alaskan sablefish fishery, some U.S. West Coast sablefish vessels utilize floated longlines. Results from the study confirmed that bird scaring regulations from Alaska were sufficient to protect baits from bird attacks on longlines without floats, but not baits with floats. One reason for this pattern might be that floated longlines sink more slowly, meaning that the lines are typically beyond the protection of the bird scaring lines before they sink below the reach of seabirds such as albatrosses. The analysis also confirmed testimonials from fishermen that night setting reduced albatross bycatch by an order of magnitude compared to daytime setting, without reducing target catch. The use of night setting may be an effective albatross bycatch prevention practice for the West Coast sablefish fishery, and provides an alternative to bird scaring lines for vessels using floated longlines.