Elevating the status of branch line weighting in ACAP’s best practice advice for reducing the impact of pelagic longlines on seabirds

Citation
Brothers N, Barrington J (2017) Elevating the status of branch line weighting in ACAP’s best practice advice for reducing the impact of pelagic longlines on seabirds. In: ACAP - Eighth Meeting of the Seabird Bycatch Working Group. SBWG8-Doc-15, Wellington, New Zealand
Abstract

ACAP has established best practice advice for reducing the impact of pelagic longlines on seabirds and recommends, among other things, that three best practice measures: branch line weighting, night setting and bird scaring lines, are applied simultaneously. Advocacy by ACAP within relevant regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) continues to encourage adoption of binding conservation and management measures implementing these best practices. The preponderance of relevant RFMOs only require longline fishing vessels to employ at most two of the three best practice measures. Recognising that ACAP considers it is important to enhance the priority accorded to branch line weighting, this paper considers the current best practice advice for mitigating seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries, and advocates that the advice be updated to elevate the status of branch line weighting in circumstances where only a limited number of best practice measures are employed. RECOMMENDATION 1. That SBWG agrees to recommend that the best practice advice for reducing the impact of pelagic longlines on seabirds be updated to elevate the status of branch line weighting in circumstances where only a limited number of ACAP’s best practice measures are employed.