Striped marlin from the Western and Central Northern Pacific, whose size and abundance, particularly those of spawning stock, have significantly decreased and continue to hold a low priority in the eyes of Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission( WCPFC ). This and other highly migratory species are under the management of this regional fisheries management organization( RFMO ).
However, the species’ time strengthening plan, which includes objectives for 2034, has no chance of being successful. WCPFC needs to take more intense conservation and management steps to lower post-release deaths, which can be done with little effect on longlines catching its targeted types.
Before WCFPFC and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission ( IATTC ), TBF submitted more significant striped marlin conservation measures for the longline fisheries we believe the US should lead with:
- Involve the use of a large group hook in longline fisheries to increase post-release survival of marlin while reducing bycatch of protected species, such as sharks and seabirds.
- Require the release or non-retention of every exist striped marlin.
- Establish a maximum size shark cap below which hooked, striped marlus may become released, dead or alive. This will lower juvenile mortality.
- Apply time-area closures for longline equipment, possibly year-round, to protect juvenile striped marlins and nursery grounds.