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    Integrated weight longlines: potential for reduction of skate by catch in demersal longline fisheries

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    K. Dietrich and E. Melvin (USA)
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    We analyzed data collected during 2005 seabird mitigation experiments on integrated weight longlines (IW) in a demersal longline fishery for effects on skate bycatch. Trials took place on two vessels targeting Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) over a five-month period in the Bering Sea, Alaska, USA. The skate catch rate was 11% lower on the IW gear compared to unweighted gear. Location, month and depth were also significant predictors of skate catch rates. While results indicate IW shows potential to reduce skate catch rates, further evaluation and analysis by individual species should be performed in specific regions where skate bycatch is a problem.