From: Editor, World Wildlife Fund
Published February 14, 2011 09:14 AM

Simple changes in fishing gear can save tens of thousands of endangered marine turtles in the Coral Triangle

Thousands of endangered marine turtles could be saved in the Coral Triangle region if the fishing industry started using innovative and responsible fishing gear, a WWF analysis shows. Towards the Adoption of Circle Hooks to Reduce Fisheries Bycatch in the Coral Triangle Region makes a strong case for governments, fishing organizations and fisheries to start implementing Circle Hooks.


"All it takes is a simple change in fishing gear to help reduce marine turtle bycatch while upholding more efficient and responsible fishing practices," says Keith Symington, WWF Coral Triangle Bycatch Strategy Leader.

How do Circle Hooks work?

Circle Hooks are simple yet innovative fishing gear that are sharply curved back in a circular shape and have demonstrated a significant reduction in the hooking rate of marine turtles in longline fisheries by as much as 80 percent compared to traditional hooks.

Because of its round shape and inward-pointing sharp end, Circle Hooks are found to be less harmful to turtles if swallowed and do not cause much internal damage once pulled out, as opposed to currently used slimmer hooks with a more exposed pointed end that can cause severe damage to turtles when accidentally ingested.

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