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Mitigating sea turtle by-catch in coastal passive net fisheries


Gilman, EL and Gearhart, J and Price, B and Eckert, S and Milliken, H and Wang, J and Swimmer, Y and Shiode, D and Abe, O and Peckham, SH and Chaloupka, M and Hall, M and Mangel, J and Alfaro-Shigueto, J and Dalzell, P and Ishizaki, A, Mitigating sea turtle by-catch in coastal passive net fisheries, Fish and Fisheries, 11, (1) pp. 57-88. ISSN 1467-2979 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-2979.2009.00342.x


There is growing evidence that small-scale, coastal, passive net fisheries may be the largest single threat to some sea turtle populations. We review assessments of turtle interactions in these fisheries, and experiments on gear-technology approaches (modifying gear designs, materials and fishing methods) to mitigate turtle by-catch, available from a small number of studies and fisheries. Additional assessments are needed to improve the limited understanding of the relative degree of risk coastal net fisheries pose to turtle populations, to prioritize limited conservation resources and identify suitable mitigation opportunities. Whether gear technology provides effective and commercially viable solutions, alone or in combination with other approaches, is not well-understood. Fishery-specific assessments and trials are needed, as differences between fisheries, including in gear designs; turtle and target species, sizes and abundance; socioeconomic context; and practicality affect efficacy and suitability of bycatch mitigation methods. Promising gear-technology approaches for gillnets and trammel nets include: increasing gear visibility to turtles but not target species, through illumination and line materials; reducing net vertical height; increasing tiedown length or eliminating tiedowns; incorporating shark-shaped silhouettes; and modifying float characteristics, the number of floats or eliminating floats. Promising gear-technology approaches for pound nets and other trap gear include: replacing mesh with ropes in the upper portion of leaders; incorporating a turtle releasing device into traps; modifying the shape of the trap roof to direct turtles towards the location of an escapement device; using an open trap; and incorporating a device to prevent sea turtle entrance into traps.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:by-catch, gillnet, passive net fisheries, pound net, sea turtle, small-scale
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Gilman, EL (Dr Eric Gilman)
ID Code:58796
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:95
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-10-29
Last Modified:2015-05-01
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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