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Research Document - 2011/091

A Review of Approaches to Assess Survival of Released Catch from Canadian Large Pelagic Longline Fisheries

By J.D. Neilson, D.S. Busawon, I.V. Andrushchenko, S.E. Campana, E.H. Carruthers, L.E. Harris, and M. Stokesbury


To address part of the Terms of Reference for a Regional Advisory Process (RAP) meeting held July 11-12 entitled “Incidental Catch in Canadian Large Pelagics Fisheries”, we review methods for assessing post-release mortality in marine fisheries. The methods can be grouped into five categories, including confinement, field observations, conventional tagging, telemetry, and physiological correlates of mortality. We recommend best practices for determining post-release survival in the Canadian pelagic longline  fishery, focusing on the seven species of particular interest to the RAP: bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), porbeagle (Lamna nasus), shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), blue shark (Prionace glauca), leatherback sea turtles (Dermocheyls coriacea), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Of the currently available methods, we conclude that a combination of field observations using standardized release codes validated with telemetry offers the most informative results.

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