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DEVELOPMENT OF A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL TO REDUCE BYCATCH OF SEA TURTLES IN U.S. ATLANTIC OCEAN AND GULF OF MEXICO FISHERIES

Author(s): Moy, C.Y., K. Buja, T.J. Dobrzynski, E.P. Keane, and D.L. Klemm

NCCOS Center: CCMA (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/ccma)

Center Team: Biogeography

Name of Publisher: NOAA

Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD

Publication Type: Poster

Date of Publication: 2006

Reference Information:

Abstract: Incidental capture (bycatch) of sea turtles in fishing gear is a major factor affecting recovery of sea turtle populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. All species of sea turtles inhabiting these waters are listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To help meet ESA mandates and recovery goals for sea turtles, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) implemented the Strategy for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery in Relation to Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico Fisheries (Strategy). The Strategy’s goal is to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles in U.S. fisheries by evaluating sea turtle bycatch and developing and implementing solutions to reduce bycatch by gear type. NOAA National Ocean Service’s Biogeography Team has been partnering with NMFS to develop a geographic information system (GIS) to support the Strategy. The GIS will greatly facilitate spatial analyses and the dissemination of information regarding sea turtle and fisheries interactions by integrating commercial fishing effort, known sea turtle distribution and sampling effort, observed sea turtle bycatch and observer effort, existing regulations relevant to sea turtle bycatch, and oceanographic features that likely influence sea turtle behavior. This is the first comprehensive GIS management tool dedicated to addressing the problem of sea turtle bycatch across gears in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions.

Availability: Online.

Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)