A study by Arizona State University has highlighted how glowing fishing nets could be used to warn endangered sea animals and save their lives.
Attached to the nets are a series of glowing LED lights, which act as a warning for any nearby sea animals. The animals can then swerve away and avoid the nets.
This claim has been backed up by a recent study in Current Biology, led by an Arizona State University marine biologist. Results have shown that the illuminated fishing nets reduced the average of total bycatch by a substantial amount of 63%, as well as a 95% reduction in sharks, skates and rays. There was also a reduction shown in the accidental capturing of other sea animals, indicating the effectiveness of the nets.
“These results demonstrate that the benefits of illuminated nets extend well beyond sea turtles and have the potential to save countless animals, including other endangered and protected species that would normally be tossed back dead or injured,” said Jesse Senko, the lead author of the study and an assistant research professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
An added benefit to the use of these nets is that they are relatively inexpensive and it would be easy to implement for fishermen. It would also allow fishermen to fish as normal, without any disruptions to their usual yield.
The lead authors of the study, Senko and Wang, are currently testing or planning to test the new lighted net technology in coastal gillnet and pound net fisheries in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, North Carolina, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Hopefully, more widespread use of these nets can be adopted and more sea animals can be saved.