Press Release – Pacific Scientists Support Streamer Lines to Reduce Albatross Interactions with Tuna Fishery (14 September 2021)

News and Updates, Press Releases

HONOLULU (14 September 2021) The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council strongly supported a study that found tori lines are far more effective than blue-dyed fish bait for seabird bycatch mitigation.
The tori line study was conducted from February to June 2021 under an experimental fishing permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Tori lines (also known as bird scaring lines or streamer lines) have shown promise in reducing incidental interactions with seabirds in the Hawai‘i deep-set longline fishery. The permit allowed tori lines to be tested without the use of blue-dyed bait, which is an existing seabird mitigation requirement in the fishery that has been shown to be less effective than other required measures over time.
The project is a collaboration between the Council, NMFS and the Hawaii Longline Association. The field experiment comprised 87 sets deployed during seven trips from three Hawai‘i-based commercial longline vessels. Participating vessels alternated sets between the two methods each day and carried a video-based system that electronically monitored seabird behavior.
Results showed that Laysan and black-footed albatross were 1.5 times less likely to attempt to attack, and 4 times less likely to contact baited hooks when tori lines are set versus when fishermen use blue-dyed bait. Ultimately, this leads to the seabirds being 14 times less likely to be hooked.
Study author and SSC member Milani Chaloupka noted that “tori lines are economical, fishermen like them and the improved design has reduced entanglement with fishing gear.”
A report from an earlier tori line project in 2019-2020 is available here:
The SSC meeting continues through Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Instructions on connecting to the web conference, agenda and briefing documents are posted at

Scientific and Statistical Committee: James Lynch (Sierra Pacific Industries) (chair); Debra Cabrera (University of Guam); Frank Camacho (University of Guam); Milani Chaloupka (University of Queensland); Erik Franklin (University of Hawai‘i, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology); Jay Gutierrez (Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources); Shelton Harley (Fisheries New Zealand); Jason Helyer (Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources); Ray Hilborn (University of Washington); Justin Hospital (National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) PIFSC); David Itano (fisheries consultant); Donald Kobayashi (NMFS PIFSC); Steve Martell (SeaState, Inc.); Domingo Ochavillo (American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources); Graham Pilling (Secretariat of the Pacific Community); Kurt Schaefer (Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission); Craig Severance (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, retired); Michael Tenorio (CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife); and Michael Seki (ex-officio) (NMFS PIFSC).

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