Report of the 2nd Workshop on Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery
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Report of the 2nd Workshop on Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery

Filetype[PDF-1.27 MB]


  • Alternative Title:
    Report of the second Workshop on Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery;2nd Workshop on Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery;Workshop on Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery;Bycatch Reduction in the ETP Purse-Seine Fishery;
  • Description:
    "Purse-seine fisheries for tunas in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) utilize three techniques to catch tuna: dolphin fishing, school fishing, and fishing on floating objects (primarily fish aggregating devices - FADs), each of which has significant differences in area, production, and size and composition of target catch and bycatch. Of the three, FAD-fishing is estimated to generate the largest amount of bycatch of many species, including sharks, sea turtles, mahi mahi, wahoo and small individuals of the target tuna species. Skipjack tuna compose the greatest amount of the bycatch of targeted tuna species. The distribution of bycatch varies both temporally and spatially. The least sustainable bycatch in floating object sets is believed to be sea turtles, small bigeye tuna, and silky and oceanic whitetip sharks. However, as there are no stock assessments for most of these species, the significance of the bycatch is not generally known either from the point of view of the stock or the ecosystem. Improvements in the identification and estimation of bycatch are currently underway in this fishery. Data on bycatch are collected by observers on board purse-seine vessels and maintained by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the participating national observer programs. While observers are on board 100% of the trips made by Class-6 purse-seine vessels (>400 short tons; 363 metric tons carrying capacity) in the ETP, observers are not required on the trips made by smaller size-class vessels. As a result, it is unknown if bycatches of smaller vessels are comparable. Several methods for obtaining better information on the fishing practices of small vessels, including on-board observers and video monitoring systems, have been discussed at meetings of the IATTC and the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program. However, consensus has not been reached on this issue due to the financial costs and other tradeoffs associated with at-sea monitoring. In response to direction from Congress, the Protected Resources Division of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) consulted with the IATTC with the aim of funding a number of projects designed to conduct research on the 'development of alternative gear for reducing bycatch of dolphins, turtles and other species in the ETP.' The SWFSC, in coordination with the IATTC, conducted a bycatch reduction workshop in 2005 to examine a suite of promising research proposals and identify three or four which would then be forwarded for review and evaluation at a second workshop composed of a larger group of panelists, each an expert in some aspect of the proposed research. Results of this workshop were summarized by Archer. Participants at the first workshop identified three proposals as having the greatest potential conservation benefit and being the most cost effective. These proposals included: 1) Modifications to the design of FADs to reduce turtle entanglement, 2) Reducing incidental capture of sharks through use of bait and/or deterrents, and 3) Ecological approaches to bycatch reduction using fisheries data. A fourth proposal that combines a number of proposals requiring ship time discussed at the first workshop was also prepared in advance of the second workshop. During this workshop, NMFS interpreted the development of alternative fishing techniques for reducing bycatch in this fishery as consistent with the stated Congressional intent of developing alternative gear for the same purpose. As a result, not all proposals selected for further discussion at a second workshop focused on gear modifications. The Southwest Regional Office (SWR) along with the SWFSC and IATTC convened this second workshop with a panel of experts to conduct a technical review of the four formal research proposals. The panelists were asked to flesh out the proposals and provide input on how to proceed with each proposal should funding become available to pursue the proposed research. A complete participant list from the second workshop is included in Appendix I"--Bacgkround (pages 1-3).
  • Content Notes:
    Jessica Kondel and Jeremy Rusin.

    "May 2007."

    System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Includes bibliographical references.

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    Public Domain
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