Seabird Mitigation Measures
All five tuna RFMOs have established requirements for longline fishing vessels to use a combination of bycatch reduction measures in areas overlapping with albatross and petrel distribution to reduce the number killed accidentally as bycatch. In addition to helping reduce the catch of seabirds, these techniques can also help minimize bait loss and ensure that baited hooks are available to the target species. In the southern Indian, southern Atlantic and SW Pacific oceans, longline vessels fishing must use two of the following seabird bycatch mitigation measures:
- Bird-scaring lines (also known as bird curtains, streamer or tori lines)
- Weighted branchlines
- Night setting
In the North Pacific and SE Pacific, longline vessels must also use two seabird bycatch mitigation measures from a wider selection that includes side-setting with bird curtains, blue-dyed bait, offal management, underwater setting chute and line shooter.
Avoiding certain areas (possibly at certain times) is also a potential strategy for avoiding the incidental capture of seabirds. For further information, contact the RFMO in whose Convention Area you operate. Their staff can provide additional detail.