Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Cooperative Fisheries Research and Management

Meeting Hawaii Longline Industry Needs to Reduce Fisheries Bycatch through Cooperative Research

Sean C. Martin, Eric Gilman, and Paul Dalzell

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569858.ch35

Hawaii pelagic longline fisheries are faced with strong economic and social incentives to reduce bycatch of sensitive species, including sea turtles and albatrosses. Cooperative research has proven an extremely successful approach to reduce seabird bycatch in Hawaii pelagic longline fisheries. Here, we describe the Hawaii longline industry’s experiences with cooperative research, as well as alternative approaches to address fisheries bycatch, including litigation, commercial demonstrations, educational materials, industry capacity-building, institution of a pilot fleet communication program, and contribution to international conferences. We describe information of interest to industry from cooperative research and recommend that U.S. fishery management authorities use the Hawaii cooperative research experience as a model for broad nationwide replication.

In 2004, there were 125 active Hawaii longline tuna and swordfish vessels, which made 1,338 trips, setting about 32 million hooks. Table 1 summarizes target species catch per unit of effort for the combined Hawaii longline tuna and swordfish fisheries from 1999 to 2004. In 2004, the Hawaii longline fisheries landed 18.5 million pounds and generated exvessel revenues estimated at $42.6 million with tuna Thunnus spp. the dominant components of longline landings.