Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch


Wang, J., Barkan, J., Fisler, S., Godinez-Reyes, C. and Swimmer, Y.



Journal/Publisher Name: 

Biology Letters

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Contact information: Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.

Two experiments were conducted to determine if 1) UV illumination reduced green sea turtle capture rates in large mesh gilllnets and 2) what was the impact of UV illumination on target catch rates in bottom-set gillnets.  Paired tests were conducted using a control net and an experimental net with UV LEDs placed every 5 m on the floatlines for the sea turtle experiment.  In the target catch experiment, inactive LEDs were also placed on the control net at 5 m spacing's.  Sea turtle catch rates were significantly higher in the control nets and there was a 39.7% reduction in mean catch rates with the experimental net.  There was no significant difference in catch rates of target species between the control and experimental nets.