Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bottom Longlining and Turtle Bycatch

From Fishnews:

Recently, several NGO's petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce for an emergency rule under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to address loggerhead sea turtle interactions in the bottom longline commercial reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA Fisheries has determined that the requested action is not warranted because an emergency rule was developed independently at the request of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

Read about the emergency rule here (tons of great info on turtle bycatch).

Read about the NOAA response here.


Kendyll Goeman said...

I think that the Smart Gear competition run by NOAA and the WWF is a creative way to join scientists, government officials, and conservationists. Their competition grants over $350,000 for net designs that reduce bycatch. This competition is currently taking place, proving that bycatch is still a concern. The new emergency rule prohibits bottom longline gear between certain latitude and longitude lines. NOAA denied the petition for emergency rules claiming that more research must be conducted. NOAA’s Smart Gear competition will satisfy all groups by allowing the fishermen to continue to fish where they are accustomed to, and will satisfy environmentalist by eventually eliminating the capture of unintended sealife.

Abby Werling said...

This emergency action bill has been temporarily passed to stop longlining in the gulf of mexico it is now only effective from May 18, 2009 to October 28, 2009 and is requesting comments and will take electronic submission at:
If this subject interests you at all your opinion could help prevent longlining in the gulf of mexico to reduce tutrle and other bycatch. I hope this does inspire people to create new smart gear as we all know bycatch has been a huge issue in overfishing for many years.

James Marshall said...

The smart gear competition is a perfect example of incentives to advance fishing in an environmentaly friendly way. If competitions like these can help to eliminate bycatch then the in my opinion raise the stakes.