Bait size and condition encompasses the size, species and hooking position of baits used in hook and line fisheries, as well as the ‘status’ of the bait – alive or dead, thawed or frozen. The size and condition of bait can affect the sink rate of lines, as well as rates of depredation. By increasing sink rates, baited hooks are sunk beyond the reach of foraging seabirds more quickly, thus reducing the likelihood of seabird interactions. Altering bait size and condition has also been suggested as a bycatch mitigation technique for sharks and rays and turtles.
Research around pelagic longline fisheries has found that bait position and size impact upon the sink rates of lines and, by extension, the threat they pose to seabirds. The condition of bait (frozen or thawed) has not been shown to make a significant difference to sink rates.
This page was last updated on 12.02.21.
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