Visual deterrents

These devices can vary. For example, they could consist of battery-operated lights set at different flicker rates intended to attract fish but not sea turtles (Wang et al. 2007). Other examples include the illumination of gillnets with a light source such as LED lights or chemical lightsticks (Wang et al. 2013). Deploying the shape of a major predator, such as sharks, near fishing gear. Some studies have indicated that shark shapes trigger an escape response in loggerhead sea turtles (Higgins, 2006). Rope consisting of polypropylene blended with a phosphor that glows a bright yellow-green underwater in wavelengths large cetaceans can see is another example. It glows for 48 hours after activation at an intensity a human can see readily at 20 yards (18 m). The design is based on the premise that with increased visibility cetaceans and perhaps turtles would be more likely to avoid rope entanglements at night or at depth. Current research is looking at how to maintain the glowing properties under the rigors of mechanized hauling (CWBR 2006). Opaque mesh netting can be inserted into the upper portion of a gillnet. This material is highly visible to birds and therefore deters them from becoming entangled in the net. This material is also more visible to marine mammals (Melvin and Conquest 1996).

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Study Type: 

Field study in the wild

Location: 

Oregon

Target catch: 

Pacific hake

Effect on bycatch species: 

Chinook were able to escape out of the escape window; Rockfish bycatch was reduced by 32.4%

Effect on target catch: 

Pacific hake continued to swim into the codend

Bycatch species: 

Reduction technique: 

Fishing Gear: