CIE Peer Review

Subject Impacts of Potential Increases in Hawaii Shallow-set Longline Fishing Effort on Sea Turtle Populations
Document(s) Reviewed
Snover M
2008. Assessment of the population-level impacts of potential increases in marine turtle interactions resulting from a Hawaii Longline Association proposal to expand the Hawaii-based shallow-set fishery. PIFSC Internal Report IR-08-010.
Download (0.2 MB PDF)
Date April 2008

Dr. Melissa Snover conducted the subject assessment to assist the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) with a re-initiated Section 7 consultation on the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery and subsequent ESA determinations required for sea turtle interactions anticipated with a proposed expansion of the fishery. Snover's work was issued as a PIFSC Internal Report. The underlying analytical framework for Snover's assessment had been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed literature, and has since been published: Melissa L. Snover and Selina S. Heppell. 2009. Application of diffusion approximation for risk assessments of sea turtle populations. Ecological Applications 19:774—785. However, because the subject research involved a variation of that approach tailored to an important management question, we deemed a review advisable.

Snover's report was submitted to the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) for an external peer review by independent experts in 2008. The CIE provided the report to three reviewers. Their independent reviews are posted on this web page, along with Dr. Snover's response.

The reviewers had a number of questions and concerns about Dr. Snover's analytical approach, particularly from a statistical standpoint. These questions were expected because the assessment took an empirical approach to a difficult conservation question and was hindered by a paucity of information on which to conduct a complete population impact assessment. Within the sea turtle assessment community, these issues are being addressed and we look forward to further advances on these important issues.

By coincidence, Dr. Snover has moved on to another position outside of NOAA Fisheries, so follow-up research on this issue will fall to her replacement and other marine turtle experts both within NOAA Fisheries and outside the agency. We believe the approach undertaken by Snover, along with points made in her response, remain the best available scientific information for guidance on this conservation issue.

— Samuel G Pooley, Director

Reviewer Comments Dr. W. Don Bowen
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Comments (0.1 MB PDF)

Dr. Graham Pilling
Center for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
Lowestoft, UK
Comments (0.3 MB PDF)

Drs. E. Rexstad and S. T. Buckland
Research Unit for Wildlife Population Assessment
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews, UK
Comments (0.3 MB PDF)
Author Response Dr. Melissa Snover
Response (0.1 MB PDF)