Review of Seabird Bycatch Mitigation Measures for Pelagic Longline Fisheries. | WCPFC
Recognising that most (84%) breeding albatrosses overlap with the pelagic longline fisheries for tuna and swordfish managed by the five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), the adoption of best practice seabird conservation in these fisheries is a high priority for the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). A combination of weighted branchlines, bird scaring lines and night setting are best practice mitigation in pelagic longline fisheries. These measures should be applied in high risk areas such as the high latitudes of southern hemisphere oceans and lower to mid-latitude fisheries of both the northern and south east Pacific to reduce the incidental mortality to the lowest possible levels. Other factors such as safety, practicality and the characteristics of the fishery should also be recognised. Currently, no single mitigation measure can reliably prevent the incidental mortality of seabirds in most pelagic longline fisheries. The most effective approach is to use the above measures in combination.