Technical Modifications Help Reduce Bycatch
How do we tackle the more than 7.5 million tons of bycatch that occurs each year? How do we prevent the Vaquita from joining the extinct Yangtze River dolphin? How can we ensure the survival of the small population of remaining North Atlantic right whale?
The technical modifications to fishing gear that the Bycatch Consortium supports were highlighted as important potential solutions to bycatch reduction in this month's Popular Science, "Higher Tech Nets, Hooks Could Stem the Shipload of Fishers' Bycatch." Three gear modification techniques currently undergoing evaluation with Consortium support were featured: Stephen Kajiura's work to reduce shark bycatch in the longline fishery using repellent rare-earth elements, Jeffry Fasick's study to determine if North Atlantic right whales can see and avoid ropes based on their vision, and David Kerstetter's project to determine if "whale-safe" hooks will bend to release whales but retain target catch.
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