To help reduce harmful interactions with seabirds, fishermen in the Pacific Islands pelagic longline fisheries are required to comply with NOAA Fisheries’ seabird mitigation (avoidance and handling) requirements (see 50 CFR 665.815).
In 2000, NOAA Fisheries estimates there were nearly 2,500 seabird interactions in the Hawaiʻi longline fisheries. Since implementing a suite of seabird avoidance and handling requirements, the fishery has significantly reduced interactions with seabirds in the subsequent two decades. In 2016, the shallow-set fishery interacted with only 65 seabirds, and in the deep-set fishery, fewer than 700.
The seabird measures include:
- Weighted branchlines
- Blue-dyed baits
- Strategic offal discards
- Mandatory night-setting
- Specific baits for shallow-set fishing