This paper proposes that, for fishers whose vessels comply with certain conditions, the requirement in Protocol C1 of Conservation Measure 24-02 to test the sink rate of integrated weight longlines (IWL) before entering the Convention Area is an impost on fishers that is no longer warranted. Testing could instead be conducted in the first week of fishing inside the Convention Area, potentially reducing compliance costs to fishers while appearing to pose little likelihood of increased seabird bycatch. The conditions to be satisfied include that the vessel used IWL gear in the immediate previous season that fully complied with the required sink rate and that there have been no changes since then to the IWL, other vessel gear and equipment, and operating procedures used for line setting. Other requirements of CM24-02, including for regular sink rate testing of IWL gear during fishing in the Convention Area and reporting of sink rate test results, would remain unchanged, as would the requirements applicable to fishers using other types of longlines.
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