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Update on harbor porpoise take reduction plan monitoring initiatives compliance and consequential bycatch rates from June 2009 through May 2010
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    "Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan (HPTRP) compliance and bycatch rate analyses are updated for US Northwestern Atlantic gillnet fisheries using data from June 2009 through May 2010 (the 2009-2010 fishing season). The observed overall compliance rate with the HPTRP regulations was 46.3%. By region, the New England gillnet fishery had a compliance rate of 43.0%, while the Mid-Atlantic gillnet fishery had a compliance rate of 55.4%. Compliance with pinger regulations was determined solely by the number of pingers observed on a gillnet string; pinger functionality was not considered in the compliance rates because pinger functionality data for the 2009-2010 fishing season was limited to six trips. Bycatch rates from the 2009-2010 fishing season were compared to the regulations of the 1998 and 2010 HPTRP final rules, even though some of the 2010 HPTRP amendments were not implemented until March 22, 2010, and most were implemented after the completion of the 2009-2010 fishing season. All but two of the observed takes in the 2009-2010 fishing season occurred in times and areas that were either managed under the 1998 HPTRP regulations, or managed under the 2010 HPTRP amendments. Bycatch rates in the 2010 HPTRP areas associated with Consequence Closure Areas (CCAs) were well above the target rates that could trigger seasonal closures after the 2011-2012 fishing season. The bycatch rate in the 1998 and 2010 HPTRP Management Areas in nets that did not have the required number of pingers (0.058 harbor porpoise/mton landed) was higher than the bycatch rate from nets with the required number of pingers in the same times and areas (0.049 harbor porpoise/mton landed). However, the relative difference between these two rates has been greater in previous years. Pingers still appeared to reduce bycatch of harbor porpoises, although it was not possible to determine how many of the pingers deployed were actually functional and what the true bycatch rate was when a full set of working pingers was used"--Abstract.
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