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NOAA Fisheries
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Acropora palmata thicket on Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Andy Bruckner, 1996Coho salmon painting, Canadian Dept of Fisheries and OceansMonk seal, C.E. BowlbyHumpback whale, Dr. Lou Herman
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Marine Mammal Take Reduction Teams


TRT Fact Sheet
TRT Fact Sheet

  Harbor Porpoise
Harbor Porpoise
(Phocoena phocoena)
Photo: NOAA


Inactive Take Reduction Teams

The Atlantic Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Team (disbanded in 2001) was convened in May 1996 to reduce the incidental serious injury and mortality of the following species by the Atlantic pelagic driftnet, pelagic longline, and pair trawl fisheries:

  • right whales
  • humpback whales
  • sperm whales
  • beaked whales
  • pilot whales
  • common dolphins
  • bottlenose dolphins
  • spotted dolphins

The Team reached consensus on several strategies to reduce serious injuries and mortalities in each fishery and prepared a proposed Plan [pdf] in November 1996. Each of the three fisheries in the plan had a major change since the team originally convened. Two of the three fisheries covered by the draft Plan no longer existed:

  • The pair trawl fishery, which was already inactive when the Team was convened, was included in the Plan so that conservation measures would be in place if the fishery was reauthorized.
  • The pelagic driftnet fishery for swordfish was closed in 1999 (64 FR 4055).
  • The longline fishery was substantially modified to reduce bycatch of other species (e.g., billfish and sea turtles) as a result of a Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan [pdf] (64 FR 29089), which prohibited the use of driftnet gear for targeting tuna in pelagic waters.

Since the nature of the fisheries that were included in the Plan had changed tremendously since 1996 when the Team was convened, NMFS disbanded the Team in August 2001.

The Mid-Atlantic Take Reduction Team became the Harbor Porpoise Team (implemented in 1998). The Mid-Atlantic Team was originally convened to develop a take reduction plan for harbor porpoises and coastal bottlenose dolphins. However, a plan to reduce fisheries interactions with harbor porpoise was given the highest priority because this stock was considered particularly vulnerable. Also, we needed to collect and analyze additional data for bottlenose dolphins. (Since 1995, NMFS has worked to develop better abundance estimates, identify and distinguish different stocks, and monitor interactions with commercial fisheries, including at-sea observer programs and stranding response efforts for Atlantic bottlenose dolphin stocks.) Thus, the Mid-Atlantic Team became the Mid-Atlantic Harbor Porpoise Team.

More Information

Updated: August 25, 2014

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