Illuminating fishing nets with low-cost lights could reduce the terrible impact they have on seabirds and marine-dwellers by more than 85 per cent, new research has shown.
A team of international researchers, led by Dr Jeffrey Mangel from the University of Exeter, has shown the number of birds caught in gillnets can be drastically reduced by attaching green battery-powered light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
For the study, the researchers compared 114 pairs of gillnets – which are anchored in fixed positions at sea and designed to snare fish by the gills – in fishing waters off the coast of Peru.
They discovered that the nets fitted with the LEDs caught 85 per cent fewer guanay cormorants – a native diving bird that commonly becomes entangled in nets – compared with those without lights.
Coupled with previous research conducted by the same team, that showed LED lighting also reduced the number of sea turtles caught in fishing nets by 64 per cent, the researchers believe the lights offer a cheap, reliable and durable way to dramatically reduce the capture and death of birds and turtles, without reducing the intended catch of fish.
The research is published in the Royal Society journal Open Science on Wednesday, July 11 2018.
“It shows us that we may be able to find cost-effective ways to reduce bycatch of multiple taxa of protected species, and do so while still making it possible for fishers to earn a livelihood.”
Peru’s gillnet fleet comprises the largest component of the nation’s small-scale fleet and is conservatively estimated to set 100,000km of net per year in which thousands of turtles and seabirds will die as “bycatch” or unintentionally.
The innovative study, carried out in Sechura Bay in northern Peru, saw the LED lights attached at regular intervals to commercial fishing gillnets which are anchored to the bottom of the water. The nets are left in situ from late afternoon until sunlight, when the fishermen collect their haul.
The researchers used 114 pairs of nets, each typically around 500-metres in length. In each pair, one was illuminated with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed every ten metres along the gillnet floatline. The other net in the pair was the control and not illuminated. The control nets caught 39 cormorants, while the illuminated nets caught just six.
A previous study, using the same LED technology, showed they also reduced the number of sea turtles also caught in gillnets. Multiple populations of sea turtle species use Peruvian coastal waters as foraging grounds including green, olive ridley, hawksbill, loggerhead and leatherback.
For that study, the researchers found that the control nets caught 125 green turtles while illuminated nets caught 62. The target catch of guitarfish was unaffected by the net illumination. They are now working with larger fisheries in Peru and with different coloured lights to see if the results can be repeated and applied with more critically endangered species.
The Latest on: Bycatch
via Google News
The Latest on: Bycatch
- Louisiana Flounder Fishing Closure this Fallon August 3, 2022 at 11:35 am
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) has moved forward with plans to establish a closed season for recreational and commercial harvest of southern flounder from October 15 to ...
- Loopholes Fuel Shark Fin Trade in Ecuadoron August 3, 2022 at 6:10 am
Ecuador is a hotspot for landing massive amounts of shark catch, and the nation is among the world’s biggest exporters of shark fins.
- Sustainable fishing projects net government funding booston August 3, 2022 at 3:22 am
Seventeen projects awarded funding from the £100m UK Seafood Fund, which aims to promote sustainable fishing practices in UK waters ...
- Lithuanian government reported six cases of seabird bycatch between 2015-2019. This is why it’s too good to be true.on August 3, 2022 at 2:17 am
Every year, millions of seabirds travel to the Baltic Sea for the winter. But this is not a journey without peril.
- NZ Commercial Fishing Caught 58 Protected Turtles In Last Year Aloneon August 2, 2022 at 10:15 pm
Greenpeace is calling on the New Zealand Government to urgently regulate commercial fisheries, following a new report that shows they caught 58 protected sea turtles in the last year alone. The ...
- Ground-breaking fishing research projects given funding booston August 2, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Projects to help minimise the impact of lost fishing nets on the environment and innovative research into new trawl designs to reduce the number of other species accidentally caug ...
- Use of sharks nets in NSW could be left to discretion of councilson July 31, 2022 at 7:48 pm
Coastal councils in New South Wales may soon be able to decide whether they want to use nets to mitigate the risk of shark attacks at local beaches.
- Lobster Fisherman Hauls In A Rare Sea Monster That Tries To Bite His Hand Offon July 29, 2022 at 11:33 am
Lobster fishermen come in close contact with tons of species that aren't lobster. All sorts of fish and crabs and tiny creatures can work their way into ...
- New Fishing Technology Will Dramatically Reduce Seabird Bycatch In Ecuador's Hake Fishing Industryon July 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm
The hake fishery and associated bycatch is one of the most significant threats to the Critically Endangered Waved Albatross. The new technology, called the Medina System, represents a major ...
via Bing News