Mitigating Marine Mammal Bycatch in Northeast Commercial Fishing by awt10412


									 Mitigating Marine Mammal Bycatch in
Northeast Commercial Fishing Operations
                      David Gouveia
             National Marine Fisheries Service
                 Northeast Regional Office
                      Gloucester, MA
  Northeast Marine Mammal Regulatory
      Measures to Reduce Bycatch

• Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan
• Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
• Coming Soon
  – Atlantic Trawl Take Reduction Plan
Types of Measures Used to Reduce Bycatch
             in the HPTRP

New England:
   – closed areas
   – modification of nets with acoustic deterrent devices
   – closed areas
   – various seasonal gear modifications
Areas of New England restricted under the NOAA Fisheries Harbor Porpoise
Take Reduction Plan
        HPTRP Pinger Specifications

• Based on pingers used successfully in the Gulf of
  Maine in 1994
• Frequency: 10 ± 2 kHz
• Loudness: 132 ± 4 dB re 1 micropascal at 1 meter
• Pulse width: 300 ± 15 milliseconds
• Repetition rate: 1 ping every 4 ± 0.2 seconds
         Placing Pingers on Gillnets
• Ensonifies the whole string of nets out to 300
  meters from each pinger. The signal attenuates to
  15 dB above ambient level at 100 meters.
• At each end of string and all bridle junctions; a
  string of 10 net panels should have 11 pingers.
• Do not wrap anything around the pingers that
  could interfere with the sound transmission.
• Consult manufacturers with any questions on
  whether your ideas for mounting the pingers might
  change the sound properties.
      Priority Gear Research Needs for the
•   Barium Sulfide Gillnet
•   Higher Frequency Pingers
     – There has been a significant interest in research concerning the
       perfection of sound and decibel levels.
     – The newer frequencies and decibel levels appear to achieve the harbor
       porpoise objectives with respect to gillnet interactions while not
       compromising seals stocks.
     – Recent research suggests that a 70 kHz sound at 132 dB (apposed to
       10 kHz sound at 132 dB ) provides more protection to harbor
       porpoise while being too high a frequency for seals to detection, thus
       protecting both harbor porpoise and seals.
     – Although recent research regarding the higher frequency pingers has
       shown promise, additional testing is needed.
     – Potential impediment - current HPTRP regulations do not presently
       allow experimental fisheries.
•   Pinger tester
Types of Measures Used to Reduce Bycatch
            in the ALWTRP

  – Gear modifications
    •   Weak links
    •   Sinking/neutrally buoyant groundline
    •   Number of pot and line restrictions
    •   Gillnet anchoring
    •   Universal requirements (e.g. Knot free buoy line recommended, No
        floating buoy line of surface )
  – Time/area closures
    • Lobster trap/pot and gillnet closures in right whale critical habitat
      (e.g. Great South Channel)
    • Restrictions on setting of shark drift gillnets in SEUS
  – Special Management Programs
    • Seasonal Area & Dynamic Area Management
      Seasonal Area Management (SAM)
• Based on annual, predictable concentrations of r.w.
• Establishes two SAM areas:
                                             SAM Gear Modifications
                                                                                          SAM GILLNET GEAR
                        SAM LOBSTER GEAR
                        • Northern Inshore State Lobster Waters
                        • Northern Nearshore Lobster Waters
                        • Offshore Lobster Waters

                                                                                  Neutrally buoyant
                       Neutrally buoyant                                          and/or sinking
                       and/or sinking buoy                                        buoy line                                 Neutrally buoyant
                       and ground line                                                                                      and/or sinking
                                                                                                                            ground line

                                                                         1100 lb required weak link
Key:                                                                     Floats
              Northern Inshore and Nearshore = 600 lb required           Bridle
              buoy weak link
                                                                         Holding power of at least a 22 lb Danforth-style
              Offshore = 1500 lb required buoy weak link                 anchor

b      Buoy                                                              Buoy

       High Flyer or Buoy
       Dynamic Area Management (DAM)

• Program to protect unexpected aggregations of right
whales within defined areas north of 40 degree North
latitude for 15-day period.
• DAM zone triggered by a sighting from a qualified
individual of three or more right whales within a 75
square nautical mile area.
• Once DAM zone triggered, NMFS authorized to:
    • Require the temporary removal of lobster trap/pot and
    anchored gillnet fishing in waters north of 40° N. latitude
    to protect feeding aggregations of right whales;
    • Issue an alert to fishermen requesting the voluntary
    removal of all lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet gear
    for a 15-day period, and asking fishermen not to set any
    new gear; and/or
    • Allow lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishing with
    gear determined by NMFS to sufficiently reduce the risk
    of entanglement.
DAM Gear Requirements
     DAM Zone from June 18, 2002 Sighting
       of 77 North Atlantic Right Whales
           in the Great South Channel
                                                              July 2002
                                                              *3,500 square nautical mile area
                 SAM East

                                   #                        US
                                                            Three NM Limit
                                                            Hague Line
                       ##    #
                        #   # #
                        #      #                            Traffic Separation Lane
                                                            Traffic Lane
                                                            June 18 DAM Zone
                                                            June 18 Core and Buffer Zones
                                       DAM June 18      #   June 18 Sightings
                                                            SAM East
                                                            50 fathom contour


                                                                W                E

90          0                90             180 Miles
                                                                                                                                                                                              Northern Inshore State
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lobster Waters



                                                                                                                                               Seasons & Areas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All Areas Are Year-round

                                                                              Dec. 1 - Mar. 31

                                                   33o 51'N

           SC/GA                                                                                   Legend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       SAM Areas
Southeast U.S.                 80oW                                         Great South Channel Critical Habitat Area (includes Sliver Area)
Restricted Area                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great South Channel Critical Habitat Area
                                                                            SAM Areas
                                                                            Cape Cod Bay Critical Habitat Area
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Cape Cod Bay Critical Habitat Area
                               Nov. 15 - Mar. 31                            Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge                                                                                                             Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge
                                                                            Other Northeast Waters                                                                                                                     Southern Nearshore Lobster Waters
                                                                            Mid-Atlantic Gillnet Waters
              27o 51'N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Northern Nearshore Lobster Waters
                                                                            Southeast U.S. Restricted Area
                                           Southeast U.S.                                                                                                                                                              Offshore Lobster Waters
                                           Observer Area                    Southeast U.S. Observer Area
                  26o 46.5'N

•                    Alternative 1
                               – Gillnet                                                                                                                    – Trap/pot
                                                              •             Northeast (year-round)                                                              •   Northeast (year-round)
                                                              •             Mid-Atlantic (Dec 1 - Mar 31)                                                       •   Mid-Atlantic (year-round)
                                                              •             Southeast (Nov 15 - Mar 31)
•                    Alternatives 2 through 6
                     (3 & 6 Preferred)
                               –                   Seasons expanded and/or areas redefined (current
                                                   management measures unless modified & some
                                                   management areas renamed)
                                                     • Northeast (year-round)                                                                                   •   Northeast (year-round)
                                                                                         –                Alternatives 2-6                                             –   Alternatives 2-6
                                                              •             Mid-Atlantic                                                                        •   Mid-Atlantic
                                                                                         –                Alternative 2 & 4 (year-round)                               –   Alternative 2 & 4 (year-round)
                                                                                         –                Alternatives 3, 5, 6 (Sept 1 - May 31)                       –   Alternatives 3, 5, 6 (Sept 1 - May 31)
                                                                                                              » RI/CT border south to 40°N and east to                         » RI/CT border south to 40°N and east to
                                                                                                                   EEZ, to SC/GA border east to EEZ                                 EEZ, to SC/GA border east to EEZ
                                                              •             Southeast (south of SC/GA border)                                                   •   Southeast (south of SC/GA border)
                                                                                                              » to 27 °51´N for non-shark                                      » to 27 °51´N
                                                                                                              » to 26 °46.5´N for shark                                –   Alternative 2 (year-round measures)
                                                                                         –                Alternative 2 (year-round with more restrictive              –   Alternatives 3 through 6 (Nov 15 -Apr 15 north of
                                                                                                          measures during seasons below)                                   29°N and Dec 1 - Mar 31 south of 29°N)
                                                                                         –                Alternatives 3 through 6 (Nov 15 -Apr 15 north
                                                                                                          of 29°N and Dec 1 - Mar 31 south of 29°N)
   Priority Gear Research Needs for the

• Vertical line
   – Additional information needed to reduce risk associated with
     vertical line
   – Future rulemaking action
• Low profile
   – Does lowering the profile of groundline to depths other than the
     ocean bottom reduce the potential for large whale entanglement?
   – If so, what is the appropriate depth and for what areas?
   – Information on large whale prey distribution & foraging behavior,
     methods to reduce the profile of groundlines, etc. needed.
Atlantic Trawl Gear Take Reduction Plan

• TRT to be convened in September 2006
• Goal
   – To reduce serious injuries and mortalities of pilot whales,
     common dolphins, and white-sided dolphins due to accidental
     entanglement in commercial fishing gear.
• Affected Fisheries:
   –   Mid-Atlantic Mid-Water Trawl (Including Pair Trawl)
   –   Mid-Atlantic Bottom Trawl
   –   Northeast Mid-Water Trawl (Including Pair Trawl)
   –   Northeast Bottom Trawl
      Priority Gear Research Needs for the
• Video camera work to investigate the behavior of
  fish and cetaceans in the trawl nets.
• Grids comparable to turtle excluder device (TED)
  technology used in shrimp fisheries.
  – Viewed as a last resort for most of the fisheries considered here due
    to the large size of the nets, and the consequently large size of any
    hard grid that would be used.
• Flexible grids (like TEDs) that may be deployed
  from net drums easier
• Soft V-grid net testing
  – Size and position of escape opening needs to be explored,
    as well as the orientation of the soft grid.
  – Simple opening with no excluder: single or multiple,
    considered to be the simplest solution.
      Priority Gear Research Needs for the

• Combination of “noise” or visual deterrents.
  – streamers, color changes, and low frequency pingers.
  – escape openings designed to alert the cetaceans without
    blocking the net.
• Smart deterrent devices such as pingers that may
  sense cetacean’s presence and become active.
• New operational procedures such as methods of
  hauling back, setting, and turning the boat during
  towing operations.
                  Web Sites for
             Northeast Regional Office
               Take Reduction Plans

• Harbor Porpoise TRP:
• Atlantic Large Whale TRP:
• Atlantic Trawl Gear TRP:

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