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Subject: Re: FISH-ECOLOGY Digest - 16 Apr 1997
From: Alan Macnow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 17 Apr 1997 08:13:13 -0700
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (70 lines)


          FROM: Alan Macnow
                 Consultant, Japan Fisheries Association
                 [log in to unmask]



          SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA CONSERVATION GROUP ADDS SEABIRD
                      PROTECTION MEASURES


               Japan, Australia and New Zealand, in a recently
          concluded annual meeting of the Commission for the
          Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), adopted a
          program to reduce the incidental mortality of seabirds in
          the longline fisheries operating under the Commission's
          jurisdiction.

               Seabirds, including relatively rare albatross species,
          often try to snatch the baits from hooks deployed by the
          fishing vessels.  Many get snagged on the hooks and pulled
          under water by the weight of the fishing lines.

               To solve the problem, the three parties agreed on a set
          of measures designed to keep the birds away from the hooks,
          sink the baits under water before the birds can get to them,
          and free birds hauled back alive without causing further
          injury to them.

               The measures also called for the vessels to avoid the
          dumping of offal into the sea while fishing lines are being
          deployed or hauled back.  Offal resulting from the cleaning
          of the fish caught attracts the seabirds to the vessels.

               Tori lines, streamers attached to long poles extended
          from the stern of the ships, flutter and frighten the
          seabirds away from the fishing lines.  The program calls for
          all of the vessels in the fishery to use them.

               The Commission also agreed to step up its collection of
          data on the ecologically related species caught incidentally
          in the southern bluefin tuna (SBT) fishery and to develop
          more accurate data on the state and trends of seabird
          populations which may be subject to incidental capture in
          the SBT fishery.  This will be done in cooperation with
          other international organizations, states and appropriate
          seabird conservation groups.

               In addition, countries which do not belong to the
          Commission but whose fishing vessels fish in the area will
          be asked to cooperate and employ measures to mitigate the
          incidental mortality of seabirds.

               The Commission will continue to evaluate a number of
          measures that are used or recommended to avoid or reduce the
          incidental mortality of seabirds, with an eye towards
          adoption throughout the fishery if they prove effective.
          These include weighting the lines so they sink faster and
          using machines to throw the baits clear of the wakes of the
          vessels where they will sink faster.  The effectiveness and
          economic viability of setting lines at night also will be
          tested.

               The Commission will initiate an education and
          information program aimed at fishermen, non-party states and
          the general public to heighten awareness of the need to
          reduce incidental catches of seabirds and ecologically
          related species, and inform them of the steps that should be
          taken to achieve that goal.

                                  -end-

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