Action: Use bait throwers to reduce seabird bycatch
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A study from Australia found significantly lower seabird bycatch on longlines set with a bait thrower.
The turbulence created by a boat’s wake can stop bait from sinking quickly, allowing birds more time to become hooked. Bait throwers work by throwing bait clear of the wake, so that it sinks faster. Throwers also allow fishermen to direct lines, for example aiming them to lie under streamer lines (see ‘Use streamer lines to reduce seabird bycatch on longlines’
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A comparative analysis of data from 86 longlining vessels operating around Tasmania, Australia, between April 1992 and March 1995 (Klaer & Polacheck 1998) and studying a total of 141 line sets, found that sets that using a bait thrower had significantly lower seabird bycatch rates, compared to sets without a thrower. This study is also described in ‘Set longlines at night to reduce seabird bycatch’ and ‘Thaw bait to reduce seabird bycatch’.