At-sea tests of releasing sharks from the net of a tuna purse seiner in the Atlantic ocean
A research cruise in support of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) bycatch reduction project was conducted on the tuna purse seine vessel PACIFIC STAR, during June-July 2018 in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. During a 4-week period a group of three scientists joined the fishing trip with the following primary objectives: (1) Estimate post-release survival of sharks (from the net); (2) Test the feasibility of crew members releasing sharks from the net. Additionally, two other objectives were pursued opportunistically: (3) Estimate postrelease survival of whale sharks (from the net); and, (4) Estimate post-release survival of rays (from deck). Preliminary results of these studies are presented.