Sea turtle mitigation requirements for shallow-set longline vessels that fish for swordfish
7. Starting on 1 January 2010, CCMs with longline vessels that fish for swordfish in a "shallow-set manner" shall: a. Ensure that the operators of such vessels, while in the Convention Area, are required to employ or implement at least one of three specified methods to mitigate the capture of sea turtles.
i. Use only large circle hooks, which are fishing hooks that are generally circular or oval in shape and originally designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank. These hooks shall have an offset not to exceed 10 degrees. ii. Use only whole finfish for bait. iii. Use any other measure, mitigation plan2 or activity that has been reviewed by the Scientific Committee (SC) and the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC) and approved by the Commission to be capable of reducing the interaction rate (observed numbers per hooks fished) of turtles in swordfish shallow-set longline fisheries.
b. The requirements of paragraph 7(a) need not be applied to those shallow-set swordfish longline fisheries determined by the SC, based on information provided by the relevant CCM, to have minimal3 observed interaction rates of sea turtles over a three-year period and a level of observer coverage of at least 10% during each of those three years.
Footnote 1 “Shallow-set” fisheries are generally to be considered those in which the majority of hooks fish at a depth shallower than 100 meters; however, pursuant to paragraph 7(c) CCMs are to establish and enforce their own operational definitions.
Mitigating impacts of fishing on species of special interest