Determining optimal pinger spacing for harbor porpoise bycatch mitigation

Larsen, F., Krog, C. and Eigaard, R.
Journal/Publisher Name
Endangered Species Research
Volume (Issue #)
Page #s
Contact information
National Institute of Aquatic Resources
Technical University of Denmark
2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

Experiments were carried out aboard vessels in the Danish North Sea hake gillnet fishery to determine if increasing the spacing of Aqutec AQUAmark100 pingers could be done without negatively impacting the effectiveness of the pinger. Control nets without pingers were tested alongside nets with pingers spaced at 455 m and 585 m. The control nets had a bycatch frequency of 0.54 incidents/haul for harbour porpoises. Nets with pingers spaced at 455 m had an incidence rate of 0 and nets with pingers spaced at 585 m had a bycatch frequency rate of 0.12. Bycatch indences were significantly different between the control and two experimental groups. This suggests that the spacing of pingers may be increased without significantly impacting their ability to reduce bycatch of harbour porpoises.