Surface pelagic longline is one of the gears most used in the swordfish (Xiphias gladius), tuna (Thunnus sp.) and shark fisheries. The interaction of this gear with marine turtles has been proven in various studies in all the oceans worldwide. This study analyzes the data collected from 2,077 sets by on-board observers between 1998 and 2004, from the pelagic longline fleets of Brazil and Uruguay that fish in the Atlantic Ocean. There were 3,149,638 hooks observed, from 5ºN to 38ºS where 1,128 Caretta caretta, 259 Dermochelys coriacea, 29 Lepidochelys olivacea and 28 Chelonia mydas were caught. From the catches of Caretta caretta, the species which was most caught, areas of greater relative abundancy for this species could be determined in latitudes above 28ºS. The vessel captains’ knowledge of the time-area distribution patterns are basic for the management and conservation of marine turtles.
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