For the past four years, trawlers on the West Coast have been hauling in vast amounts of pink shrimp, much of it destined for dainty salads and shrimp cocktails across the country. But though these have been boom times for shrimpers, many are uneasy.
Along with pink shrimp, their nets often scoop up a threatened smelt called eulachon. Many shrimpers worry that the species’ vulnerability could lead to new federal restrictions on their industry.
Now scientists in Oregon seem to have hit upon an effective and low-cost solution: Light up the nets.
Last July, fisheries biologists Robert Hannah and Stephen Jones of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Mark Lomeli of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission chartered a shrimp trawler for an unusual experiment.
The double-rigged boat, the Miss Yvonne, drags a pair of socklike nets a foot or two above the dark seafloor. The researchers placed 10 battery-powered green LEDs at the mouth of one net, tying them to the “footrope” on its bottom side. The other net was unlit.
The crew made one trawling tow, dumped the catch from each net into a divided hopper — and gaped in astonishment.
On one side of the hopper, the haul from the unlit net held lots of silvery eulachon, flatfishes and other so-called bycatch mixed in among bright pink shrimp. On the other side, the catch from the LED-lit net was virtually nothing but shrimp.
“We couldn’t believe what we were looking at,” Mr. Hannah said. Illuminating the net’s opening helped the eulachon dodge it. “They’re taking advantage of a little more light to see escape routes,” Mr. Jones said.
It is an all-too-rare example of a simple, affordable environmental fix that seems to produce instant benefits. Results of the Oregon researchers’ experiment, funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be published in a fisheries research journal. But already, the news has spread quickly through the state’s shrimping industry.
“Within two months, virtually the entire fleet was using these lights,” Mr. Hannah said.
Read more: Easy Solution for Shrimpers and Smelt Alike
The Latest on: Sustainable fishing
via Google News
The Latest on: Sustainable fishing
- Friend of the Sea to require satellite monitoring of certified fishing fleetson December 7, 2021 at 11:57 am
The Friend of the Sea (FOS) sustainability-focused certification program is implementing a requirement of 24/7 satellite monitoring of its certified fishing fleets. The addition of the monitoring ...
- Thailand plots sustainable comeback for Phi Phi islands' DiCaprio beachon December 7, 2021 at 7:31 am
While travel stopped and the world locked down, in the dazzling blue waters of Thailand's idyllic Phi Phi islands, a gentle renaissance was under way. Mass tourism had brought the archipelago, ...
- Thailand Plots Sustainable Comeback For DiCaprio Beachon December 6, 2021 at 5:57 pm
Mass tourism had brought the archipelago, immortalised in Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach", to the brink of ecological catastrophe. Now Thailand hopes to make Phi Phi the standard-bearer for a new, ...
- The virtuous circle: Partnering across the value chain for sustainable homeson December 6, 2021 at 8:15 am
President Materials at DSM and YiFu Qi, Executive Vice President, Home & Distribution division, Schneider Electric All too often, people think that once something has been thrown away, it ceases to ...
- This Leading Seafood Company Catches Cutting-Edge Tech To Support Local Fishing Communitieson December 6, 2021 at 3:42 am
Learn how Royal Greenland is committed to making it as simple as possible for fishermen to sell their catch for the best possible price.
- Sustainable fish restaurant Off the Hook to launch in Wappingon December 6, 2021 at 3:37 am
Fish supplier Shaun Henderson and chef Neil Wager are to launch a sustainably fish restaurant in Wapping, East London, early next year.
- 22 Simple Tips To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle in 2022on December 5, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Are you one to make New Year’s resolutions? Better health, more wealth—a more planet-friendly lifestyle? Incorporate these 22 tips to live a more sustainable life in 2022!
- IFFO’s Brett Glencross: Maximum sustainable yield strategy best management solutionon December 2, 2021 at 7:14 am
Fisheries management using maximum sustainable yields (MSY) is key to maintaining healthy stocks, according to Brett Glencross, the technical director of IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organization. The ...
- Hard choices are needed if we want climate-resilient fishingon December 1, 2021 at 3:02 am
People, not science, are the biggest source of uncertainty for the future of sustainable, climate-resilient fisheries.
- Study shows new potential of fish by-productson November 30, 2021 at 7:30 am
Fish farming by-products have the potential to increase the sustainability of aquaculture, and contribute to other sectors—such as food, diet supplements, animal feed and cosmetics, according to a new ...
via Bing News