Circle hooks

A circular hook design in which the point of the hook is perpendicular to the hook shank. Circle hooks are used widely in many recreational and commercial fisheries and recently have been shown to reduce both the hooking rate and the mortality of turtles that are hooked on pelagic longline gear. As a result of several successful field trials (Bolten and Bjorndal, 2005; Watson et al., 2005), these hooks are becoming increasingly used in longline fisheries.

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Study Type: 

Summary study

Effect on bycatch species: 

High speed trolling with J hooks and artificial bait and slow trolling with circle hooks and natural bait resulted in less internal hooking, tissue damage and increase post release survival.

Article: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Pacific

Target catch: 

Tuna

Effect on bycatch species: 

Reduced sea turtle interactions likely due to use of circle and not J hooks

Effect on target catch: 

All tuna species had higher catches rates when wider circle hooks were used. Shortfin spearfish and striped marlin catch rates were lower with circle hooks. No differences in average length between hook types.

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

South-western Atlantic Ocean

Target catch: 

Tuna, blue sharks, swordfish

Effect on bycatch species: 

De-hooking was decreased from 25% to 5.8% in loggerhead sea turtles when circle hooks were used.

Effect on target catch: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Brazil

Target catch: 

Tuna (pelagic) sharks (bottom)

Effect on bycatch species: 

Rates of external hooking were significantly higher with circle hooks

Effect on target catch: 

Article: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Brazil

Target catch: 

Tuna (pelagic) sharks (bottom)

Effect on bycatch species: 

Mortality at haulback was significantly higher for on J-hooks.

Effect on target catch: 

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Equatorial Atlantic Ocean

Target catch: 

Tuna

Effect on bycatch species: 

Catch rates were lower for leatherback sea turtles and pelagic stingrays but not sailfish when circle hooks were used

Effect on target catch: 

Bigeye tuna had higher catch rates when circle hooks were used

Article: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Equatorial Atlantic Ocean

Target catch: 

Tuna

Effect on target catch: 

Bigeye and yellowfin tuna had higher survival rates when circle hooks were used

Article: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Equatorial Atlantic Ocean

Target catch: 

Tuna

Effect on bycatch species: 

Swordfish and sailfish had significantly higher external hookings when circle hooks were used

Effect on target catch: 

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Strait of Sicily

Target catch: 

Swordfish

Effect on bycatch species: 

J hooks resulted in more hooks being swallowed compared to circle hooks

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Azores

Target catch: 

Swordfish and blue shark

Effect on bycatch species: 

Circle hooks resulted in fewer turtles being caught in the throat

Effect on target catch: 

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

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