Reducing sea turtle bycatch in the Mediterranean mixed demersal fisheries

Authors: 

Lucchetti, A., Bargione, G., Petetta, A., Vasapollo, C, and Virgili, M.

Year: 

2019

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Frontiers in Marine Science

Publisher Address: 

Frontiers Media SA Avenue du Tribunal Fédéral 34 1005 Lausanne Switzerland

Volume (Issue #): 

6

Page #s: 

387

Contact information: 

Lucchetti Alessandro Institute of Marine Science - National Research Council ISMAR-CNR, Largo Fiera della Pesca 1, Ancona, Italy
Summary: 

Incidental catch of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean basin is the main threat to its conservation. In this basin, fisheries are multi-species, multi-gears and multi-national, making demersal fishing activities profitable, while preserving sea turtles is a challange. In this study, scientists developed bycatch reducer devices and alternative fishing gears to mitigate the impact of demersal fishing gears on seaturtles. This included (i) testing hard and flexible Turtle Excluder Devices in bottom trawling nets and (ii) using ultraviolet LEDs as visual deterrents to illuminate set nets to avoid entanglement. The results of this study suggest the different devices did not affect the commercial catch, while bycatch reduction was instead evident. These reuslts advocate for a global effort to introduce bycatch reduction devices in different areas and fisheries of the Mediterranean.