Capstone Title

The Impact of Sea Turtle Chemoreception, Foraging Ecology, and Vision on Their Bycatch in Longline Fisheries

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Tamara Frank

Second Advisor

Kristi Foster

Third Advisor

Michael Salmon


Sea turtles are threatened by many factors including egg harvesting by humans, predation, loss of suitable nesting habitat, and pollution. However, the incidental capture of sea turtles by fisheries is another source of significant mortality. Longline fisheries in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific regions capture and kill thousands of sea turtles every year. While strides have been made in reducing sea turtle bycatch, there is still more that can be done. This paper examines sea turtle foraging, chemoreception, and vision in order to gain a better understanding of how and why sea turtles are attracted to longline fishing gear. Current and proposed bycatch modifications relating to each of these sensory systems are also discussed. The findings of this review indicate more research needs be conducted on this topic in order to find a successful mitigation method.

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