Development of Mitigation Measures to Reduce Seabird Mortality in Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Fishing operations attract and provide a feeding opportunity for a range of pelagic seabird species. Their incidental mortality on these vessels has been well documented and mounting evidence suggests that this is the leading cause of observed decreases amongst albatross and petrel populations (Gales 1998). Mitigation measures work by either keeping birds away from baited hooks (e.g. tori lines), reducing the time the hook is available to the birds (e.g. line weighting or line setting chutes), avoiding peak periods of bird foraging (e.g. night setting) or making vessels or bait less attractive to the birds. It is vital that these measures are simple, easy to implement and cost effective. This paper reviews mitigation measures a) tested and found effective, b) those still under refinement c) tested and found ineffective and d) those suggested for future testing.