Sustainable Fisheries Division

Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-set Longline Fishery

Calendar Year 2018f

(Updated: May 15, 2018)

This table is updated when an interaction is reported; if no interaction is reported, the table is updated on the 15th and last day of each month.

Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles
Annual limit 26 34
Interactions to date 6 33

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Loggerhead Sea Turtle, photo courtesy of Anne Heimann


Regulations governing the Hawaii shallow-set pelagic longline fishery include annual limits on the numbers of interactions that occur between fishing vessels and sea turtles. There are two calendar-year limits: 26 leatherback sea turtles, and 34 loggerhead sea turtles. If either limit is determined to have been reached, the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery is immediately closed. When closed, Hawaii longline vessels are prohibited from shallow-set fishing north of the Equator for the remainder of the calendar year.

Sea turtle interactions are monitored by NOAA Fisheries observers, placed aboard every shallow-set longline fishing trip.

See 50 CFR 665.813 for the official Hawaii shallow-set longline sea turtle interaction limits. More information can be found in the Observer Program's quarterly reports which provided information about protected species interactions with U.S. longline vessels in the Pacific.

Historical Interactions

Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles
2017 4 21
2016 5 15
2015 5 13
2014 16 15
2013 11 6
2012a 7 6b
2011 16c 12
2010 8 7d
2009 9 3
2008 2 0
2007 5 15
2006 1 17e
2005 8 12
2004 1 1

a On November 5, 2012, NMFS revised the limits for leatherback turtles from 16 to 26, and for loggerhead turtles from 17 to 34.

b Two interactions were with the same turtle.

c Fishery closed on November 18, 2011, as a result of reaching annual interaction limit of 16.

d 2010 loggerhead limit was 46.

e Fishery closed on March 20, 2006, as a result of reaching annual interaction limit of 17.

f Fishery closed on May 4, 2018, as a result of a Court Order.