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Home» Feature (Archive) » 2 August 2004

Guide gives fishermen advice on how to catch fish not turtles 2 Aug 2004

A new booklet called ‘Catch Fish Not Turtles Using Longlines’, produced by the Honolulu, Hawaii-based Blue Ocean Institute, aims to address the problem of turtle mortality in longline fishing gear.

Produced in collaboration with UNEP and the IOSEA MoU Secretariat, the pamphlet highlights the importance of testing new kinds of hooks and fishing methods as a way of reducing the number of turtles killed and harmed in fishing gear each year. The techniques aim to minimise interactions with turtles, while maintaining the viability of pelagic longline fisheries.

Over the past 20 years, the number of nesting leatherback and loggerhead turtles in the Pacific has dropped by 95% and 80% respectively. Studies in the Atlantic have shown that using "circle hooks" baited with mackerel rather that traditional J-shaped hooks baited with squid, reduce the amount of leatherback turtles caught by 63% and loggerhead turtles by 88%. Studies also show that fisherman in the US caught up to a fifth more swordfish when using circle hooks and mackerel as bait. The use of large circle hooks might be economically feasible in other longline fisheries, but this still needs to be confirmed.

The booklet, prepared in English, Japanese and Spanish, also gives tips on how to save a turtle once snagged, including advice on how to remove an ingested hook and how to treat a turtle until in can be released.

To obtain copies, please write to:

Blue Ocean Institute, 2718 Napuaa Place, Honolulu HI 96822 USA; E-mail: ericgilman@earthlink.net

View related press release

View brochure in English (PDF 700kb)

View brochure in Japanese (PDF 3MB)

View brochure in Spanish (PDF 700kb)


UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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