Stakeholders constantly pressure the industry and government to prevent the indiscriminate deaths of seabirds & turtles in long-line fishing. Failure to solve this problem has resulted in fisheries closures , restrictions, operational and productivity impacts.
The tuna fishing industry still needs a seabird & turtle mitigation system that is proven to be simple, cost effective, and commercially available.
National plans of action and legislation require fishing to reduce and minimize impacts on threatened, endangered and protected species.
Historically new mitigation measures have required scientific testing, to show effectiveness, before implementation by agencies or acceptance by fishing industries.
Successful Smart Hook technology and working prototypes have progressed the Smart Hook System to a point where it needs to be tested biologically, in the commercial fishing & marine environment using scientific methods to provide creditable evidence of its effectiveness to stakeholders.
This project seeks to address some of the research priority needs of the ET&BF fishery including;
Research Priority 4
Assessment of the impact and/or reliance of the ETBF on the related pelagic ecosystem, including;
• development and evaluation of mitigation measures to reduce impacts, such as spatial closures and gear modifications and/or restrictions.
The following specific project has also been identified as having a High Priority for the delivery of key management information needs over the next 1-3 years in the ET&BF fishery.
• Development and evaluation of by-catch mitigation and discard minimization measures in the ETBF.