Reducing sea turtle interactions in the Hawaii-based longline swordfish fishery

Gilman, E., D. Kobayashi, T. Swenarton, N. Brothers, P. Dalzell, and I. Kinan-Kelly
Journal/Publisher Name
Biological Conservation
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To reduce turtle interactions, regulations for the Hawaii-based longline swordfish fishery required vessels to switch from using a J-shaped hook with squid bait to a wider circle-shaped hook with fish bait. Analyses of observer data showed that, following the introduction of the regulations, significant and large reductions in sea turtle and shark capture rates occurred without compromising target species catches. There was also a highly significant reduction in the proportion of turtles that swallowed hooks and a highly significant increase in the proportion of caught turtles that were released after removal of all terminal tackle. Research suggests that turtles aggregate at foraging grounds and that instituting methods to avoid real-time turtle bycatch hotspots may further reduce turtle interactions.