Caracterização da captura incidental de tartarugas marinhas pela pesca de espinhel pelágico no Nordeste do Brasil
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
The marine turtles biological characteristics and the impact they have been suffering in consequence of human activities have caused in the last decades the decrease of populations to unsustainable levels. All four of the species described in this paper are registered as endangered in a list by IUCN: Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea, Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea. The main causes of such impact include several fishing activities, mostly the surface longline. This paper discusses the monitoring of two foreigner longline fleet along the North East Brazilian coast between October of 2004 and September of 2005. Both operated in the West South Atlantic, one using the Chinese technique and the other the American. The American methods target species is the swordfish (Xiphias gladius), and it is characterized by using squid as bait, J9/0 offset 5 hook, light sticks and night soaking. It also operates in shallower waters than the Chinese method. The source of information about the efforts and the catches came from onboard observers and were used to calculate the catching rate of turtles over 1000 hooks (CPUE). The American equipment caught more turtles (CPUE = 0,059; N= 103), mainly D. coriacea, while the Chinese longline caught mainly the L. olivacea and presented a CPUE= 0,018 (N= 89). The hooks were most frequently found attached to the mouth of C. caretta, C. mydas, and L. olivacea. The D. coriacea were most frequently caught by hooks externally attached to different parts of their body. There was no significant difference between the hook type catching and most turtles were still alive when released. The results suggest a greater potential of turtle catching by the American method. Besides the statistic tests have showed less interaction between the Chinese equipment and marine turtles, the catches of this fishing technique could have been underestimated due to miscommunication between the onboard observer and the vessels crew plus the retrieve of the longline during night time
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