CONCUR’s work focused on structuring and guiding Team deliberations, as well as working with NMFS policymakers and scientists to tee up issues for Team discussion. The use of work teams and cross-interest group caucuses were also key in building the foundation of the eventual agreement.
CONCUR facilitated a consensus agreement among fishermen, conservationists, biologists, and others on a suite of actions intended to reduce the incidental bycatch of false killer whales in Hawaii’s longline tuna and swordfish fishery. The agreement, referred to as a Draft Take Reduction Plan and hammered out by members of the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team during a fast-track, six-month-long negotiation, is grounded in several key recommendations.
One recommendation calls for the mandatory use of circle hooks in the tuna-targeting deep-set longline fishery, a gear change expected to reduce the likelihood of hooking false killer whales. Another recommendation includes the proposed closure of a seasonal area north and east of the main Hawaiian Islands, where longline fishing is currently allowed for four months of the year.