Action: Thaw bait before setting lines to reduce seabird bycatch
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
A single study from Australia found that lines set using thawed baits caught significantly fewer seabirds than controls.
Thawed bait sinks more quickly than frozen bait and so using it may reduce the time that bait is available to birds and therefore reduce bycatch.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
An analysis of data from 86 longlining vessels operating around Tasmania, Australia, between April 1992 and March 1995 (Klaer & Polacheck 1998) and studying a total of 141 line sets, found that sets that using partially or completely thawed bait had significantly lower bycatch rates, compared to sets using unthawed bait. This study is also described in ‘Set longlines at night to reduce seabird bycatch’ and ‘Use bait throwers to reduce seabird bycatch’.