NOAA 2002-112
Contact: Sheela McLean
8 /29/02
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Second International Fisher’s Forum on seabird and sea turtle bycatch in the longline fishery industry – called IFF2 – has been scheduled for Nov. 19 to 22 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Officials with the U. S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council are urging all interested individuals to attend this event hosted by the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council, with assistance from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries).

Worldwide concern is rising about the impacts on populations caused by the incidental catch of seabirds and sea turtles in various commercial longline fisheries around the world.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this forum,” says Kitty Simonds, executive director of the Western Pacific Council, “where fishermen and scientists from all over the world will get together to address a topic of vital concern to the environment and the global fishing industry.”

To encourage the participation of the fishing industry, IFF2 is free to longline fishermen. Fishers, researchers, gear manufacturers, fishery managers and all interested parties can register now for IFF2.

“This forum represents a unique opportunity for fishers, scientists, conservationists and other interested groups to come together to continue working on solutions to a global bycatch problem,” says Dr. Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “The Council is working with NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, numerous longline industry associations, as well as environmental groups, and the organizers of the First International Fishers Forum to develop an excellent program for achieving outcomes aimed at significantly reducing the incidental catch of seabirds and sea turtles.”

New Zealand hosted the first forum which focused on the seabird problem. IFF2 will build on these efforts, stressing continued progress and welcoming new participants.

IFF2 participants will attend plenary sessions as well as small break out group sessions. Topics include: overviews on seabird and sea turtle biology, distribution and population status; longline fisheries and data collection; mitigation measures, data collection and research; numerical modeling; international agreements; and national approaches.

IFF2 presents an opportunity for fishermen and other interested parties to attend an innovative and timely forum. To register, please contact the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council in Honolulu, Hawaii at (808) 522-8220 or log on to the Council website at for a registration brochure. Questions can be directed to the Council, or emailed to

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit