Joint Analysis of Sea Turtle Mitigation Effectiveness

Common Oceans (ABNJ) Tuna Project (2017) Joint Analysis of Sea Turtle Mitigation Effectiveness. In: WCPFC Scientific Committee 13th Regular Session. WCPFC-SC13-2017/EB-WP-10, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Also published as IOTC-2017-WPEB13-38

To support the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFC) ongoing sea turtle conservation and management, the Common Oceans (ABNJ) Tuna Project provided funding for an analysis of the effectiveness of sea turtle mitigation in 2016. The analysis was conducted jointly by the Pacific Community (SPC) and WCPFC members (CCMs) from 13 countries as well as IGOs and NGOs in the form of two four-day workshops. The workshops were focused on estimating current interactions and mortalities in Pacific longline fisheries and examining how these estimates could be reduced through improved mitigation. The primary outputs were an evaluation of the effectiveness of various packages of mitigation measures (see attached workshop report pp. 69-76). One of the ancillary findings of the workshops is that currently under the WCPFC’s sea turtle conservation and management measure (CMM 2008-03) less than 1% of Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) longline effort is subject to mitigation, even though approximately 20% of the WCPO longline effort consists of shallow sets (see pp. 17-18). This situation arises from the applicability of the measure to “longline vessels that fish for swordfish in a shallow-set manner”, with each CCM authorized to formulate their own definition of “shallow-set”. While mitigating