Atlantic Longline Aquaculture Workshop Summary

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The summary report from NOAA’s 2015 Longline Aquaculture Workshop is now available. In September 2015, 44 experts in aquaculture, commercial fishing gear technology, marine sciences, and protected species met to discuss the potential for interactions, including entanglements of sea turtles and marine mammals with longline aquaculture gear.

The goals of the workshop were to:

Collectively review a draft NOAA Technical Memorandum regarding interactions of protected species, such as sea turtles and marine mammals, with longline aquaculture operations.

Develop tools and strategies to support development of longline aquaculture while conserving protected resources.

Collect and discuss information that federal, state and local regulators and coastal managers can use to assess the potential risks that longline aquaculture poses to protected species.

The participants identified six priority areas for research that could improve the ability of farmers and regulators to work toward common goals of supporting aquaculture development while reducing risks to protected species.

Comparisons between longline aquaculture gear and commercial fishing gear revealed several important differences in gear type and deployment density.

These differences may (or may not) mitigate the relative risk of entanglement. These unknowns suggest the need for monitoring around farms until these questions can be resolved.

The 2015 Longline Aquaculture Workshop Summary Report can be downloaded at:

source: NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region