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Shark interactions in pelagic longline fisheries

Blue Ocean Institute, USA; School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia; 2718 Napuaa Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA; Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK; 178 South Arm Drive, Wonga Beach, Queensland 4873, Australia; Pro Delphinus, Octavio Bernal 572-5, Lima 11, Peru; New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA; BirdLife South Africa, P.O. Box 52026, Waterfront, Cape Town 8002, South Africa; Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell’Uomo, Università di Torino, Via Accademia Albertina 13, I-10123 Torino, Italy; Environment Consultants Fiji, Box 2041, Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji; Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, 1164 Bishop Suite, Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA; Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, Blanco 839, Valparaiso, V Region, Chile
Marine Policy (Impact Factor: 1.87). 01/2008; 32(1):1-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2007.05.001
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT Substantial ecological, economic and social problems result from shark interactions in pelagic longline fisheries. Improved understanding of industry attitudes and practices towards shark interactions assists with managing these problems. Information on fisher knowledge and new strategies for shark avoidance may benefit sharks and fishers. A study of 12 pelagic longline fisheries from eight countries shows that incentives to avoid sharks vary along a continuum, based on whether sharks represent an economic disadvantage or advantage. Shark avoidance practices are limited, including avoiding certain areas, moving when shark interaction rates are high, using fish instead of squid for bait and deeper setting. Some conventionally employed fishing gear and methods used to target non-shark species contribute to shark avoidance. Shark repellents hold promise; more research and development is needed. Development of specifically designed equipment to discard sharks could improve shark post release survival prospects, reduce gear loss and improve crew safety. With expanding exploitation of sharks for fins and meat, improved data collection, monitoring and precautionary shark management measures are needed to ensure that shark fishing mortality levels are sustainable.

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