Comparing the effects of offset and non-offset circle hooks on catch rates of fish and sea turtles in a shallow longline fishery


  • The contribution of Yonat Swimmer to this article was prepared as part of her official duties as a United States Federal Government employee.


  • 1.This study compared the catch rates of targeted dolphinfish or mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus), and sea turtles and other fish bycatch in a shallow-set Costa Rican longline fishery using 14/0 circle hooks with and without a 10° offset. The effect of hook offset on hooking location and injury in captured sea turtles, specifically if the hooking was external, in the mouth, or in the esophagus was also evaluated.
  • 2.Results were compared from six trips totalling 33 876 hooks with squid (Dosidicus gigas) used as bait. In total, mahimahi catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE, expressed as number caught per 1000 hooks) was similar between hook types (CPUE∼52).
  • 3.Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were caught on all 42 sets. In total, 640 olive ridley turtles were caught and released alive. There were no significant differences in the number of sea turtles caught between hooks with and without an offset (CPUE∼19) nor between hook type and anatomical hooking location, suggesting similar levels of injury for turtles caught on each hook type.
  • 4.These data suggest that a 10° offset on 14/0 circle hooks does not confer any selective advantages over hooks with no offset with respect to capture rates of mahimahi, sea turtles, sharks, or pelagic stingrays in a shallow set pelagic longline fishery. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.