Developments (2006-2007) in scientific research on the use of modified fishing gear to reduce longline bycatch of sea turtles
This report summarizes experimental field trials comparing modified fishing gear to traditional methods in numerous fisheries worldwide where incidental capture of sea turtles is high enough to allow for statistically robust comparative results. Specifically, recent field trials comparing J and circle hooks in shallow set swordfish fisheries in Italy, Brazil, and Uruguay, have shown viable CPUE for target species using circle hooks plus fish bait. Trials in deep set tuna fisheries in the United States and Indonesia have also shown viable CPUE for target species. Additionally, field trials comparing hooks with and without offset and with and without an "appendage" have examined CPUE of both sea turtles and target species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. With regards to sea turtle entanglement, information from recent trials indicates improved performance of monofilament line vs. more flexible multifilament cordage as means to reduce entanglement of hard shelled sea turtles off the coast of Peru.