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NOAA Fisheries Releases Workshop Summary: Potential Protected Resources Interactions with Longline Aquaculture

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. Today, NOAA Fisheries is releasing the Workshop Summary.

Longline mussels. Credit: NOAA

Aquaculture is increasing in both near and offshore waters, making it important to assess the potential risk of interactions and to determine ways to minimize or reduce harmful and fatal events.

The goals of the workshop were to:

DEI mussel seed on longline. Credit: Maine Sea Grant

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.

Most importantly, the workshop provided an opportunity for networking among stakeholders to support future collaboration and information exchange.

Read the Summary Report (pdf).

Read more about our role in aquaculture.