REPORT: Workshops on Mitigating Sea Turtle Bycatch
All sea turtles are protected internationally, as these long-lived animals face a number of environmental challenges—nesting beach destruction, boat collisions, ingestion of marine debris, disease linked to ocean pollution—including interactions with fishers.
There are fishing methods and gear modifications that can reduce sea turtle interactions in longline tuna fisheries, and increasing an animal’s probability of survival after incidental capture is critical to the species’ protection. Well-tested techniques and procedures can increase the chances of an animal surviving interaction with fisheries –– best practices that should be passed onto fishers, fishery observers and government agencies.
ISSF therefore supported a series of workshops aimed at reaching Costa Rica’s longline fisheries led by scientists and turtle experts. The workshops covered practical information such as hook removal, best handling practices and resuscitation.
An ISSF technical report reviews the activities at and results of these workshops. Sea turtle bycatch mitigation is also covered in the ISSF longline skippers guidebook as well as training videos created in collaboration with NOAA and Submon.
POSTER: Saving Sea Turtles
An infographic—available in English and Spanish—shows longline fishermen how to safely handle sea turtles unintentionally caught during tuna fishing to help them survive.
About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — the world’s leading conservation organization — promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. To learn more, visit https://iss-foundation.org/, and follow ISSF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.