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Partial list, as recommended by 28 countries in Bangkok

Fishing operations
  • Boats should promptly release any accidentally caught turtles, always carrying with them the necessary equipment for doing so.
  • Purse seiners should avoid encirclement of sea turtles and in the case of entanglement should take all possible measures to safely release them. Fish-aggregating equipment used by purse seiners that may entangle turtles should be monitored regularly, and captured turtles released promptly. Research in modifications to this equipment that reduces likelihood of by-catch should be conducted.
  • In long-line fisheries, combinations of hook design, bait types, fishing depths, gear specifications and fishing practices should be used to minimize accidental deaths of turtles. Longline boats should always have the equipment necessary for release of capture turtles on hand.
  • For other fisheries, studies on sea turtle by-catch and mortality are required, as well as research into changes to fishing techniques and equipment to reduce by-catch. In particular, priority should be given to gillnet fisheries.
  • In all fisheries, temporary and spatially-limited controls on fishing, especially in locations and during periods of high concentrations of turtles, should be considered when appropriate.
  • Plans to avoid loss of nets and retrieve drifting nets and fishing gear, which can harm turtles, should be developed in all fisheries.
Monitoring and research
  • Countries need to assemble more data on sea turtle-fishing interactions for all fisheries.
  • Research into the socio-economic impacts of sea turtle conservation and management measures on fisheries and fishing industries is needed in order for those measures to succeed.
  • Regional fisheries bodies should be used as a mechanism to share information about sea turtle-fisheries interactions and by-catch reduction strategies.
  • Where such programs are economically and practically feasible, countries could develop observer programmes in fisheries that have impacts on turtles.
Education, training and capacity building
  • Educational materials on avoiding turtle by-catch and proper release procedures should be developed and used in trainings and workshops with fishers.
  • Countries should cooperate closely in research activities on the status and behaviour of turtles. In particular, for developing countries this is a way for them to leverage scant resources.

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Countries agree on steps for reducing accidental deaths of endangered sea turtles in fisheries

Partial list, as recommended by 28 countries in Bangkok

Photo credit: United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A sea turtle escapes from a shrimp net using a Turtle Excluder Device.

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