SS1.06 The Ecological Impacts of Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
HyrenbachKD, Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, USA, khyrenba@earthlink.net
D'Agrosa, C, , Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, USA, ced@duke.edu
Rilov, G, , Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, USA, gr3@duke.edu
Crowder, L, B, Duke University Marine Lab , Beaufort, USA, lcrowder@duke.edu
 
SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF BYCATCH IN THE U.S. ATLANTIC AND HAWAIIAN PELAGIC LONGLINE FISHERIES
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Characterizing the spatial patterns of fishing effort and bycatch is essential to assess the ecological impacts of pelagic longline fisheries, as well as the feasibility of strategies to mitigate those impacts. We quantified the spatial distributions of fishing effort and bycatch documented by the U.S. Atlantic (1992-1999) and Hawaiian (1994-2000) longline pelagic fisheries observer programs. In particular, we assessed the association between bycatch distributions and static (e.g., bathymetric) and dynamic (e.g., hydrographic) oceanic habitats using multivariate statistics. Our comparative analysis, involving a variety of species and two ocean basins, suggests that the spatial distribution of fishing effort and oceanic habitats influences the effectiveness of bycatch mitigation measures. In particular, "site-specific" approaches may work only for certain pelagic species that preferentially occupy restricted bathymetric habitats (e.g., shelf-slope regions). On the other hand, "diffuse" strategies may be required to protect broadly-distributed taxa associated with dynamic hydrographic features (e.g., water masses). This study suggests that flexible management approaches are required, since strategies that protect certain taxa in one locality need not necessarily prove effective in a different ocean basin.