Food color and marine turtle feeding behavior: Can blue bait reduce turtle bycatch in commercial fisheries?

  • Swimmer Y
  • Arauz R
  • Higgins B
 et al. 
  • 112


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 39


    Citations of this article.


We conducted laboratory and field experiments to investigate the behavioral responses of Kemp's ridley Lepidochelys kempii and loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta to whole squid dyed different colors. Our ultimate goal was to identify bait modifications that could reduce the interaction of turtles with longline fishing gear. In captivity, both turtle species clearly preferred untreated squid over squid that had been dyed dark blue. Loggerhead turtles also preferred untreated squid over red-dyed squid, whereas Kemp's ridley showed the opposite response. Field trials of blue-dyed bait were conducted on commercial fishing boats in the Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica, where the incidental capture of olive ridley turtles Lepidochelys olivacea is high (long-term average, approximately 7 turtles per 1000 hooks). We found no differences in rates of turtle interactions (8.4 and 8.1 individuals per 1000 hooks) when using untreated versus blue-dyed baits. Although effective in laboratory settings with captive turtles, dyeing bait does not appear to have potential as an effective mitigation measure to reduce sea turtle bycatch in longline fisheries

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bait color
  • Sea turtle bycatch mitigation
  • Sea turtle fisheries interactions

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Yonat Swimmer

  • Randall Arauz

  • Ben Higgins

  • Lianne McNaughton

  • Marti McCracken

  • Jorge Ballestero

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free