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Incidental Capture of Pinnipeds in Commercial Fishing Gear

Incidental Capture of Pinnipeds in Commercial Fishing Gear,Thomas H. Woodley,David M. Lavigne

Incidental Capture of Pinnipeds in Commercial Fishing Gear   (Citations: 5)
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We reviewed the literature on incidental catches of pinnipeds by commercial fisheries using both passive and active fishing gear. Few incidental catch data were available for most species, although a substantial amount of information has recently become available for species in the North Pacific Ocean and the Northwest Atlantic Ocean off Eastern Canada. Incidental catches in passive gear appear to be of sufficient magnitude to have contributed to population declines of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and Kuril seals (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri) in the North Pacific and harp seals (P. groenlandica) from the Barents Sea. Incidental catches in active gear appear at least partially responsible for the decline of northern sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the North Pacific. Detrimental impacts of incidental catches are also indicated for New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri) off the Auckland Islands, harbour seals (P. vitulina concolor) off Newfoundland and Alaska, grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the eastern Baltic and for endangered Mediterranean (Monachus monachus) and Hawaiian (M. schauinslandi) monk seals. Several factors appear to influence incidental catches of pinnipeds, including behavioural traits of individual species, age of individuals, fishing gear type, and the temporal and spatial overlap of a species' range with fishing activities. More and better data on incidental catches of marine mammals (pinnipeds and cetaceans) and sea-birds by individual fisheries are required in order to evaluate properly the magnitude of the problems and their potential impact on specific populations.
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