Researchers have discovered a simple but extraordinarily effective means of keeping threatened eulachon out of fishing nets trawling for pink shrimp: light up their escape route. 


Scientists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found that LED lights attached to the trawl lines illuminate the escape path under the net, allowing eulachon and other species that enter the net to find their way back out. 


Early results indicate that illumination reduces the unintended catch, or bycatch, of eulachon. Of 42 tows, evaluated under a variety of conditions, the new technique demonstrated a 90.4% reduction in eulachon bycatch; while the catch of pink shrimp - the target species - was largely unaffected, reduced by less than 1%. Bycatch of other fish species, including darkblotched rockfish and slender sole, was also significantly reduced. 


"Though we're still fine tuning the method," said Bob Hannah of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, "the use of properly placed lights really is showing a remarkable reduction in the catch of eulachon while still retaining shrimp." 


Read the full story at The Fishing Wire>>


Want to read more about eulachon bycatch reduction? Click here

Have you listened to this article via the audio player above?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation