SS1.06 The Ecological Impacts of Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 2:45:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
LewisonRL, Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC, USA, rebecca.lewison@duke.edu
Crowder, L, , Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC, USA, lcrowder@duke.edu
 
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF SEABIRD BYCATCH MORTALITY
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Pelagic longline fisheries worldwide incidentally take long-lived seabird species. This mortality has already led to fisheries restrictions to protect seabirds, including wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) in the Southern Ocean. Fisheries impact assessments are needed to identify other seabird species that require management intervention to prevent population declines. But quantifying seabird bycatch is difficult; the data are generated by few fisheries observers and the fisheries include multinational fleets operating in vast oceanic regions. Here we present a method to generate bounded estimates of bycatch mortality and project the population-level impact of this mortality in a case study species - the Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) in the central North Pacific. Although this method requires extensive estimation and extrapolation from existing data, it is critical to provide fisheries managers with bounded estimates of likely population-level effects of current fishing activity.