Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Seabird Cable Strike Mitigation Workshop

November 7-8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington Contributed by Vanessa Tuttle September 2017

Seabirds congregate around trawlers to feed on offal, putting them at risk of colliding with cables that run aft of trawlers (trawl warps and data cables). Cable strikes are a known source of seabird mortality, particularly on at-sea factory trawlers.

Scientists have conducted research projects that involve observing seabird cable strikes in the Alaska catcher/processor fleet targeting pollock in the Bering Sea and in the West Coast at-sea hake fishery. Data from both studies indicate that the estimated mortalities for cable strikes are much greater than the observed mortalities collected as part of typical observer duties.

To address this issue, NOAA Fisheries will host a 2-day workshop on gear modification strategies for reducing seabird bycatch in West Coast trawl (hake) fisheries. The workshop will be held November 7-8, 2017 in Seattle at NOAA’s Western Regional Center. The goal is to develop mitigation strategies that reduce cable strikes and could be used by both the West Coast hake and Alaska pollock trawlers. This collaborative workshop will bring together the at-sea processing industry, engineers, biologists and fisheries managers to develop innovative, practical gear-modifications for reducing seabird cable strike mortality.

If anyone would like additional information or to attend, please contact Vanessa Tuttle 206-860-3479 or

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