Catch and bycatch in U.S. Southeast gillnet fisheries, 2009
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Catch and bycatch in U.S. Southeast gillnet fisheries, 2009
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    "Observer coverage of the Florida-Georgia shark gillnet fishery began in 1992, and has since documented the many changes to effort, gear characteristics, and target species the fishery has undergone following the implementation of multiple fisheries regulations (e.g. Carlson and Bethea 2007 and references therein, Passerotti and Carlson 2009). Most recently, the directed large coastal shark (LCS) gillnet fishery has been significantly reduced since the implementation of Amendment 2 to the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (NMFS 2007). The 33-head LCS trip limit implemented by Amendment 2 has essentially ended the strike net fishery and limited the number of fishers targeting LCS with drift gillnet gear. This regulation has also limited the small coastal shark gillnet fishery. Currently, there are a total of 222 directed and 276 incidental shark permits issued to fishers in the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, of which only a small portion use gillnet gear. Many gillnet fishers have now begun targeting teleost species such as Spanish mackerel Scomberomorous maculatus, king mackerel Scomberomorous cavalla, and bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix, with varying types of gillnet gear. As such, the southeast gillnet observer program currently covers all anchored (sink, stab, set), strike, or drift gillnet fishing by vessels that fish from Florida to North Carolina and in the Gulf of Mexico year-round. Herein, we summarize fishing effort, catch and bycatch in these fisheries during January 2009 - December 2009, collectively referred to as '2009'"--Introduction.
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