Fisheries Infosite

Environmental Issue

 Surface longlines - Turtle entanglements

Occasionally turtles get caught on surface longlines.
No formal risk assessment has been done on this issue. However, the government is concerned about the issue - particularly the risk to endangered leatherback turtles.
Extent of the issue
Although the limited observer coverage in surface longline fisheries makes the issue difficult to quantify, New Zealand’s fisheries have been recognised by the scientific committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission as having a minimal rate of interaction with turtles. Most turtles observed caught have been alive.
Current management
The government's current management focuses on educating fishers about the issue and training them in releasing turtles alive.  In conjunction with the Department of Conservation, line cutting and dehooking equipment has also been provided to fishers, to enable them to safely release any turtles they do catch.
Future management
none currently highlighted 
Documents / links
Abraham & Thompson 2008, CSP research plan, CSP website