Assessing the importance of net color as a seabird bycatch mitigation measure in gillnet fishing

Hanamseth, R., Baker, G.B., Sherwen, S., Hindell, M., and Lea, M.
Journal/Publisher Name
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume (Issue #)
Page #s
Contact information
G. Barry Baker, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Email:

 The ability of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) to distinguish  differently colored netting materials was tested under controlled conditions to test gillnet color as a potential bycatch mitigation technique. Clear, green, and orange colored monofilament were tested in the form of a gillnet mimic in an enclosed tank containing 25 penguins. Orange colored monofilament line resulted in lower collision rates with the gillnet mimic (5.5%) in comparison with clear (35.9%) and green (30.8%) monofilament lines. Further testing under experimental conditions, accompanied by at-sea trials to verify effectiveness in varied light conditions is needed, as well as an assessment of the effect of gillnet color on the catch efficiency of target species. 

Research Summary

Location Gear Technique Species Effect on Bycatch Species Target catch Effect on Target Catch Type
Melbourne Zoo, Australia
Visual deterrents
Eudyptula minor (Little penguin) Orange colored monofilament resulted in lower collision rates with a gillnet mimic versus green and clear monofilament N/A Not tested Study in the lab