Acoustic pingers

Underwater sound-emitting devices (maximum level of intensity equivalent to approximately 175 dB re 1 &micro;Pa @ 1m) attached to fishing gear, principally gillnets. [Under NOAA's Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan for the Gulf of Maine, the sound output intensity for pingers is stipulated as 10 (&plusmn;2) kHz at 132 (&plusmn;4) dB re 1 &micro;Pa @ 1m (NMFS/NOAA, 1998)]. Pingers are now mandated for use in some fisheries in the U.S. Northwest Atlantic, California driftnet, and in Europe. The sound of these devices is believed to alert an animal to the presence of the net and thus decrease the probability of entanglement. Although some studies have shown that pingers can have the unintended consequence of attracting pinnipeds to fishing operations (Bordino et al., 2002), this may be controllable by raising the emitted frequency of the pingers above seal hearing (Kraus et al., 1997). <br />

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Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Australia

Target catch: 

N/A

Effect on bycatch species: 

Humpback whales responded to 'tones' by moving offshore and surfacing more often, perhaps trying to avoid the stimuli. Responses to social sounds were more variable.

Effect on target catch: 

N/A

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Study Type: 

Summary study

Target catch: 

N/A

Effect on bycatch species: 

Net alarms do not appear ver effective in reducing small cetacean entanglements in gillnets

Effect on target catch: 

N/A

Article: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Queensland, Australia

Target catch: 

Shark

Effect on bycatch species: 

The current net/pinger configuration is adequate for humpback whales, dugongs and dolphins swimming at normal travelling speeds. The current pinger spacing is insufficient for dolphins swimming straight at the net at high speeds.

Effect on target catch: 

N/A

Article: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Cape Solander, Sydney Australia

Target catch: 

N/A

Effect on bycatch species: 

There were no differences in behavior of migrating whales when alarms were on or off

Effect on target catch: 

N/A

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

California

Target catch: 

Swordfish and thresher shark

Effect on bycatch species: 

Decreased cetacean bycatch and no habituation. Pinniped bycatch was not significantly different

Effect on target catch: 

n/a

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

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