Careful Release Protocols for Sea Turtle Release with Minimal Injury
The careful release protocols presented here describe the tools and techniques for safely removing fishing gear from incidentally captured sea turtles (Plate C-1) and other bycatch species. The document is designed primarily to provide specific handling guidelines for removing gear from sea turtles captured in hook-and-line fisheries. Interactions with other species (e.g., fish, marine mammals, and seabirds) and gear types (e.g., trawls, gillnets, fixed gear) are mentioned briefly here, but this is not intended to be a comprehensive guide for interactions with these species or gear types. This chapter introduces the importance of gear removal, and then specific protocols and tools are addressed in the following chapters.