Effects of chemicals from longline baits on the biting behaviour of loggerhead sea turtles
The biting behaviour of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta, a high bycatch species by longline fishing gear, was studied on 30 wild specimens held temporarily at rescue centres. To account for repeated measures, the data were analysed using mixed-effects models. Chemicals from squid baits elicited significantly more biting behaviour than those from mackerel baits. Smaller turtles were more likely to bite than larger turtles. The findings add increasing evidence in support of the idea that the use of fish baits instead of squid baits could be a conservation measure to protect this endangered species from bycatch.