FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROPOSED EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS
Northeast Distant Fishing Zone Pelagic Longline Fishing Experiment
April 22, 2002
In HMS fisheries bycatch of billfish on commercial gear, undersized swordfish, sharks on commercial gear after a seasonal closure; bluefin tuna on pelagic longline gear, and protected species such as sea turtles and whales have been of particular concern because of the impact on the stocks of these species.
Pursuant to a permit issued under Section10(a)(1)(A)of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. Section 1539(a)(1)(A), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) intends to conduct research to find modified pelagic longline fishing methods which reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles while remaining an economically viable fishery.
To test bycatch reduction fishing methods, NMFS will contract fishing vessels to conduct experimental fishing operations in the Northeast Distant (NED) statistical zone (Figure 1)from July 2002,through November 2002. The NED is the area bounded from 20 to 60 degrees west longitude and from 35 to55 degrees north latitude.
E. OPERATING PROCEDURES:
6. All equipment and gear specified in the Government's statement of work, or which is not specified but is necessary to the safe and continued operation of the vessel, shall be operational at the beginning of each fishing trip and maintained in working order throughout the duration of the contract. This shall include back up gear for those items likely to be lost overboard, such as line cutters, dehookers, and nets.
G. GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES:
1. All scientific sampling equipment and supplies.
2. Turtle rescue equipment (in addition the vessels legal requirements)
a. Line cutters
b. Dip nets
3.Treatment hooks (LP SS 18/0 circle hooks)
Aquatic Release Conservation
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