Status of Bycatch Mitigation Measures in the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Fishery for Highly Migratory Species
The U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline (PLL) fishery for highly migratory species (HMS) targets tunas, swordfish, and sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Management measures in the PLL fishery to reduce bycatch and bycatch mortality of HMS, protected species, and other marine organisms include areas closed to fishing, hook and bait type restrictions, handling and release gear requirements, and requirements to move fishing activity due to interactions all of which have resulted in broad changes in fishermen behavior. Many of these measures have been in place for a number of years. This presentation provides an overview of these measures and recent bycatch trends.