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The Role of Electronic Monitoring in Assessing Post-Release Mortality of Protected Species in Pelagic Longline Fisheries

August 31, 2023

During this study, we reviewed video footage of eight small cetaceans and 37 sea turtle interactions incidentally captured on Hawaii-based longline fishing trips.

Currently, data on protected species interactions in the PIR longline fisheries (Hawaiʻi and California-based deep- and shallow-set fisheries, and American Samoa-based longline fishery) are collected by human observers. However, the costs for observer coverage continue to rise, and observer coverage is limited in the Hawaiʻi and California-based deep-set and American Samoa-based longline fisheries.

This report summarizes what data EM (electronic monitoring) can collect from protected species interactions that have occurred in the Hawaiʻi-based deep-set and shallow-set longline fisheries to make determinations on mortality and injury severity for cetaceans and post-interaction mortality for sea turtles. In these fisheries, protected species are captured across genera (e.g., sea turtles, whales, dolphins, birds, and elasmobranchs); however, for this study we only reviewed cetacean and sea turtle interactions. We also provide recommendations for modifications to EM systems, fisher handling, and video review to improve data collection.

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service uses the NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-PIFSC series to disseminate scientific and technical information that has been scientifically reviewed and edited. Documents within this series reflect sound professional work and may be referenced in the formal scientific and technical literature.

Stahl JP, Tucker JB, Hawn LA, Bradford AL 2023. The role of electronic monitoring in assessing post-release mortality of protected species in pelagic longline fisheries U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-147, 38 p.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 09/25/2023

Electronic Monitoring