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PIFSC Sea Turtle Longline Research EA June 1, 2009

floats, resulting in near-surface sea turtle takes even in the deep-set tuna fisheries (Beverly and Chapman 2007, Beverly et al. in press; Figure 1).

Figure 1. Pacific Longline with Gangions1 Depth varies based on target species (WPRFMC 1995) 1

1.2.2 Status of Sea Turtles

All populations of sea turtles are in decline, except for some olive ridley and green turtle subpopulations, which appear to be increasing (Spotila et al. 2000, Kamezaki et al. 2003, Limpus and Limpus 2003, Chaloupka and Balazs 2007). In the last two decades in the Pacific Ocean, for example, numbers of nesting leatherbacks and loggerheads have declined by 95% and 80%, respectively (Spotila et al. 1996, Spotila et al. 2000, Kamezaki et al. 2003, Limpus and Limpus 2003). Estimated trends of Pacific leatherback populations in Costa Rica and Malaysia suggest that these turtles could become functionally extinct by 2010 (Spotila et al. 2000).

Impacts to sea turtles throughout the world are due to the cumulative effect of primarily human activities, including the legal harvest and illegal poaching of adults, juveniles, and eggs;

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