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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (PINA Nius Online) – Fishermen and environmentalists are at a Honolulu conference on ways to cut harm to endangered sea turtles and birds from commercial longline fishing in the Pacific.

The Second International Fishers Forum, hosted by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, is seeking ways to ease the threat of protected birds and turtles becoming entangled in fishing lines.

"The harvest of adult turtles and their eggs may have a far more devastating impact on populations than longline fisheries, the Council said in a statement. However, the recent expansion of fishing across the Pacific highlights the need for innovative solutions to minimize fishery interactions."

Representatives from American Samoa, Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, and New Caledonia are among participants from around the world.

The council said a variety of strategies have already been developed and shown effective in longline fisheries. These include the use of blue-dyed bait, bird-scaring lines, and the underwater setting chute.

These tools need to be refined and adapted to local fisheries and geared toward the species in that area, it said.

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