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International Sea Turtle Activities
Reducing Mortality of Sea turtles in Longline Fisheries
In FY05, Pacific Islands Regional Office along with the Pacific Islands Fishery Science Center supported a longline vessel observer and gear trial experiments in conjunction with WWF. The project has three geographic components Vietnam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. As of this time the project is just being implemented. For Vietnam the goal is to implement priority activities of Vietnamís Conservation Action Plan for Sea turtles including reduction of fisheries-related bycatch of sea turtles.
- Design and implement a pilot observer program, adapted from existing methodologies developed by NOAA and executed by WWF and Vietnamese authorities, to collect quantitative information and monitor bycatch in selected offshore longline fisheries.
- Based on above results, implement trial experiments in selected fisheries aimed at assessing the efficacy of circle hooks in reducing incidental capture and mortality of sea turtles compared to currently utilized "J" or Japanese tuna hooks.
- Train longline fishermen in de-hooking and related turtle fisheries interaction mitigation techniques.
- Assess and communicate results of observer program and experimental circle hook trials.
- Liaise with fisheries management authorities and research institutions to make appropriate adjustments to fisheries as required.