Tori lines mitigate seabird bycatch in a pelagic longline fishery

Gilman E, Chaloupka M, Ishizaki A, et al (2021) Tori lines mitigate seabird bycatch in a pelagic longline fishery. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 31:653–666.

This article is also found elsewhere, open access, as follows: in the 2021 Seabird Bycatch Working Group online conference documents as ACAP SBWG10 Inf 05; as WCPFC 2021-SC17-EB-IP-05 & WCPFC-SC18-2022/EB-IP-21.

Albatross bycatch has been increasing over the past decade in the US tuna longline fishery of the central North Pacific. A controlled field experiment was used to assess the efficacy of bird scaring or tori lines as a seabird bycatch mitigation measure for this fishery in a 3-factor sampling design with other mitigation methods (blue-dyed bait, offal discharge). A multilevel geoadditive Bayesian regression modeling approach was used to assess 3 albatross-gear interaction metrics (attempted contacts, contacts, captures) recorded for each longline set using an electronic monitoring system. We found albatross contacts with baited hooks were ca. 3 times (95% highest posterior density interval [HDI] 1–7) less likely for sets equipped with tori lines rather than without tori lines. Attempts to contact baited hooks were ca. 2 times (95% HDI 1–4) less likely for tori line-equipped sets. Albatrosses were also less likely to be captured in tori line sets but captures were too few to support strong inference compared with the contact rates. Tori lines were therefore found to be an effective management measure to mitigate albatross interactions in this fishery. Offal discharge during setting, however, was associated with higher seabird interactions—but that inference was not strong since offal discharge and blue-dyed bait were confounded treatments in some sets. Nonetheless, it was apparent that neither offal discharge nor blue-dyed bait was helpful in reducing albatross interactions in this trial and so the efficacy of those measures warrants further experimental investigation.