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LED lights on fishing nets can reduce bycatch of marine species

A study led by researchers of the University of Exeter and Peruvian conservation organization ProDelphius proved that LED lights put on fishing nets can reduce the occurences of sea turtles and dolphins being caught by accident. The research result was published in the journal Biological Conservation.

The research group have made experiment by connecting LED lights on fishing nets with small vessels leaving from three ports in Peru between 2015 and 2018. They proved that LED lights along the top of floating gillnets avoid unexpected "bycatch" of sea turtles by more than 70%, and that of small cetaceans such as  dolphins and porpoises by more than 66% but the amount of targeted fishes was not influenced at all.

It is said that gillnet fisheries often have high bycatch rates of threatened marine species including sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds but there was few solutions developed to solve the problem.

The researchers placed lights every 10m along the float line of 864 gillnets, pairing each with an unlit net to compare the results.

New findings also support its previous research which suggested LED lights reduce bycatch of seabirds in gillnets by about 85%.
LED lights will be helpful to reduce "bycatch" of sea turtles or seabirds at sea
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