SS1.06 The Ecological Impacts of Pelagic Longline Fisheries
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 4:15:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
SwimmerYB, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA, yonat.swimmer@noaa.gov
Brill, R, W, NOAA,National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu, USA, Richard.Brill@noaa.gov
Laurs, R, M, NOAA,National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu, USA, Mike.Laurs@noaa.gov
 
BEHAVIOR AND PHYSIOLOGY EXPERIMENTS AIMED AT REDUCING PELAGIC LONGLINE INTERACTIONS WITH MARINE TURTLES
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Interactions between marine turtles and longline fishing gear have reached unacceptable levels in the Pacific Ocean. As a result, Hawaii-based courts have severely restricted longline fishing in the central Pacific. Our research aims to reduce hooking of threatened and endangered sea turtles by identifying a bait modification that would be unattractive or repellent to marine turtles. In an effort to identify factors attracting sea turtles to bait, we are conducting behavior experiments on captive green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles to determine their reliance on visual and olfactory cues and to identify a potentially repellent bait. Preliminary data suggest that turtles initially avoid baits dyed blue, and that this avoidance lasts approximately 10 days. These data alone indicate turtles' heavy reliance upon vision in selecting food items. Furthermore, use of artificial baits and analysis of turtle behaviors in relation to hidden food items suggests turtles also use olfactory cues in attracting them to bait. Behavioral data will be discussed in relation to concurrent research on the visual and olfactory capabilities in sea turtles and target fish species.