While work to develop solutions to reduce the bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles by longline gear has begun, fishermen, managers and scientists recognize that these efforts must be enhanced and collaboration must be pursued internationally as these species are highly migratory, inhabiting the waters of many nations during their life cycle. To further this cause, the Western Pacific Fishery Regional Fishery Management Council hosted the Second International Fisheries Forum (IFF2), November 19-22, 2002, in Honolulu, Hawaii. IFF2 built on the First International Fishers Forum (IFF1) held in Auckland, New Zealand in November 2000. IFF2 widened the focus of IFF1 to address the bycatch of sea turtles as well as seabirds by longline fishing gear. More than 200 representatives from fishing industries, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties from 28 countries in the Atlantic, East and Central Pacific, North Pacific and South Pacific participated in IFF2. The 4-day meeting opened with overview sessions on seabird and sea turtle biology, distribution, and population status assessment; longline fisheries and data collection; mitigation measures, research, and data collection; modeling; and international agreements/national approaches. Interactive breakout sessions on these various topics as well as sessions on fishermen incentives and education/communication occurred during days 2 and 3, followed by a final day of concluding exercises and the production of an IFF2 Resolution.
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