Observer program April - May 2009


The pilot program was  followed by a first circle hook trial in 2009. This project has yielded positive results, providing new optimism for the improved responsibility and future sustainability of the fisheries.

A short summary of the mentioned results:

- In 2008 the project initiated a first trial on the use of Circle Hooks in Vietnam, a type of hook especially designed to reduce bycatch of marine turtles by as much as 80% compared to traditional J-hooks.

- Keith Symington, WWF Western Pacific Bycatch Leader, says that the recent trial has confirmed that the tuna catch rate with Circle Hooks is comparable to J-Hooks.

- Keith Symington also says that the quality of the stainless steel Circle Hooks was very good and hold better bait than J-hooks.

- All caught marine turtles were released alive and sent back in to the sea, thanks to the introduced equipment  in December 2008.

WWF, NOAA and Culimer are now planning to scale up the percentage of Circle Hooks for the 2010 fishing season.

For more information you can check the publication of WWF from 28th December 2009: