A Review of Observer Codes for Recording the Condition of Sharks and Seabirds
This paper provides a review of coding systems used by observers to classify the condition of sharks and seabirds interacting with longline fisheries. As for most observer data, the ultimate use of the information is generally understood but not precisely specified, and thus it is difficult to judge whether collected data will be fit for future purposes. It is also necessary to make some assumptions about observer training and onboard time budgeting when designing data collection programmes. With these issues in mind, four tuna regional fisheries management organizations’ requirements for observer-collected shark and seabird condition data are reviewed, and several recent advances in understanding how interactions relate to mortality are discussed. A number of conclusions are drawn for the further consideration of CCSBT’s Ecologically-Related Species Working Group.