Developing visual deterrents to reduce sea turtle bycatch in gill net fisheries

Authors: 

Wang, J., S. Fisler, and Y. Swimmer

Year: 

2010

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Volume (Issue #): 

408

Page #s: 

241-250

Contact information: 

john.wang@noaa.gov
Summary: 

Visual cues are important in sea turtle foraging behavior and likely influence their interaction with fishing gear. This studey examined the potential effectiveness of three visual cues: 1) shark shapes, 2) illumination of nets by LED lights, and 3) nets illuminated with chemical lightsticks - for reducing green sea turtle bycatch in gillnets. The presence of shark shapes significantly reduced mean sea turtle catch rates by 54%, but also reduced target catch by 45%. Nets illuminated with LED lights significantly reduced sea turlte bycatch by 40% and had negligable impact on target catch. Lastly, nets illuminated with chemical lightsticks also reduced sea turtle catch rates by 60% and had no significant impact on target catch.