Illuminated exits are as useful to fish as to humans in a tight spot.
Newly published research has found that artificial light on square mesh panels in nets can help to reduce unwanted bycatch of fish.
The study, published in the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, involved trials with two fishing vessels off the Isle of Man from June to August 2017.
Lead author Lucy K Southworth of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences in Wales notes that use of lights has been tested before, but these trials were particularly successful.
Two 14 metre vessels, Two Girls and Our Sarah Jane, were fitted with a “treatment” and a “control” net which were interchanged between the two after every second day.
The weight per unit area of all bycatch species caught in the modified nets, fitted with lights, was lower compared with the traditional “control” nets, and there were no significant losses of the target catch of the two vessels - Queen scallop.
More details are in the April issue of The Skipper magazine.
MORE LIGHT, LESS BYCATCH.— lucy southworth (@SouthworthLucy) April 17, 2020
In light of the #landingsobligation, @lornasiggins writes in @SkipperEditor about our ? bycatch reduction study using LEDs?
Escape rates for key bycatch species (haddock, whiting, flatfish) differ depending on water depth and light levels...? pic.twitter.com/nauGuzBmDi