The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 05. Gillnet fishery – loggerhead turtle interactions in the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

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pp. 25-30
Authors: Echwikhi, Khaled; Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine & Bouain, Abderrahmen

Abstract: Some gillnets used in the south of Tunisia (Gulf of Gabes) target shark species (Mustelus sp., Carcharhinus plumbeus) and guitarfish (Rhinobatos cemiculus, Rhinobatos rhinobatos). These artisanal nets interact with sea turtles. Here we present an analysis of the bycatch of loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta in these gillnets in the Gulf of Gabes, an important Mediterranean wintering and foraging area for this threatened species. We quantified mean catch per unit effort (CPUE) in three ways to account for uncertainty and found high levels of interaction in each case. The number of turtle captures per km2 of gillnet per day, the number of turtle captures per km of net and the number of turtle captures per set were 0.527 (0.403–0.649), 0.339 (0.250–0.438) and 0.800 (0.654–0.904), respectively. Captured loggerheads were mainly juveniles (mean = 56.6cm CCLn-t) and direct mortality was estimated as 69.4% (n=25). These are the first estimates of sea turtle interactions with artisanal fisheries for northern Africa, and one of very few estimates of turtle mortality in set gillnets in the Mediterranean. Our results indicate a need for research into ways for fishermen to avoid turtle captures and to raise awareness of this problem throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The following specific actions are recommended: 1) management of gillnet fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea, 2) minimizing gear soak time, particularly in foraging and inter-nesting habitats and along the migration pathways of sea turtles, 3) technical modifications of the gear by reducing the number of floats, and 4) carrying out an awareness campaign with fishermen to reduce post-release mortality.

Keywords: GILLNET, CATCH RATE, CARETTA CARETTA, BYCATCH, MORTALITY

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.