SS1.06 The Ecological Impacts of Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 11:15:00 AM
Location: Carson A
 
BrownCA, National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Miami, USA, craig.brown@noaa.gov
 
ESTIMATION OF BYCATCH BY THE U.S. ATLANTIC LONGLINE FLEET
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Knowledge of bycatch levels can be extremely important in the assessment of the status of a population, particularly if those bycatch levels are large or if population levels are low. Factors such as population distribution and abundance, fishing techniques and effort distribution, and environmental conditions can all influence bycatch rates. Methods for the estimation of bycatch (animals which were discarded or released at sea) from the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery are evaluated. The primary databases used included: 1) detailed catch and set information recorded by scientific observers from a randomly selected sample of the fleet, and 2) catch and set information reported by sea captains in mandatory logbooks. The estimation methods were intended to overcome difficulties involving sampling coverage or incompleteness in the logbook data. The uncertainties around the bycatch estimates are also evaluated.