Illuminating Fishing Nets Prevent Bycatch

lights bycatchBycatch is an economic and environmental problem for commercial fishing. Large trawlers often scoop up sea-life other than the species they’re targeting, and if there’s too much bycatch fishermen sometimes have to dump their catch. But Bob Hannah of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife may have found a simple, affordable solution. He tells Living on Earth’s Emmett FitzGerald how local shrimp fishermen are eliminating bycatch of an important smelt species by lighting up their nets with LEDs. The waters off the coast of Oregon teem with delectable pink shrimp. But shrimpers often also scoop up fish they don’t want, what’s known as “by-catch”, in particular a smelt called the eulachon. And that is costly – for the eulachon, and the fishing boat operators. But Government scientists have discovered a nifty way to cut the eulachon by-catch using LED lights. Bob Hannah of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife told Living on Earth’s Emmett FitzGerald all about it. Read the story here 19:59