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: 

Queensland, Australia

Target catch: 

Sharks

Effect on bycatch species: 

Dolphins heard the F3 pinger 45 m from the net, they could only detect the F10 pinger less than 40 m from the net

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Queensland, Australia

Target catch: 

Sharks

Effect on bycatch species: 

Humpback whales heard the F3 pinger 90 m from the net, they heard the F10 pinger was audible up to 130 m

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Cornwall

Target catch: 

None reported

Effect on bycatch species: 

There was a significant difference in the number of porpoise clicks between nets with and without pingers, but the extent of displacement could not be determined. No evidence of habituation to the pingers.

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Cornwall

Target catch: 

Monkfish

Effect on bycatch species: 

One incidentally caught harbor porpoise; significant reduction in the number of porpoise clicks at nets with pingers. Pinger effects stronger at quiet sites; no habituation observed, exclusion of porpoises following pinger use for as much as 7 hrs

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Southwest England

Target catch: 

None reported

Effect on bycatch species: 

DDD's caught significantly fewer porpoises but no significant difference in dolphin bycatch was observed

Effect on target catch: 

None reported

Article: 

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