SS1.06 The Ecological Impacts of Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 2:00:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
SnoverML, Duke University, Beaufort, USA, mls6@duke.edu
Epperly, S, P, National Marine Fisheries Service, Miami, USA, sheryan.epperly@noaa.gov
Crowder, L, B, Duke University, Beaufort, USA, lcrowder@duke.edu
 
POPULATION MODEL ANALYSIS FOR LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES (CARETTA CARETTA) FROM THE NORTHERN NESTING SUBPOPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES
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Based on recent mtDNA data, there are at least 5 genetically distinct loggerhead sea turtle nesting subpopulations in the western North Atlantic. In the United States, the northern nesting subpopulation, extending from North Carolina to northeast Florida is of greatest concern due to its small size. Turtles are taken by a variety of fisheries, including pelagic longlines, trawls, and gill nets. We used the new model to examine the effects of current and expanded turtle excluder device (TED) regulations in combination with changes in pelagic juvenile mortality rates due to pelagic longlines on population growth rates. Initializing with a pre-TED population growth rate of -3% per year and considering expanded TED regulations, an increase in pelagic stage mortality of 10% results in the population continuing to decline at 2% per year. A 10% decrease in pelagic juvenile mortality results in populations recovering at +1% per year. Reductions in anthropogenic sources of pelagic stage mortality in combination with expanded TED regulations are needed to maintain the northern U.S. subpopulation of loggerheads.