Developing visual deterrents to reduce sea turtle bycatch in gill net fisheries

Wang, J., S. Fisler, and Y. Swimmer
Journal/Publisher Name
Marine Ecology Progress Series
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Visual cues are important in sea turtle foraging behavior and likely influence their interaction with fishing gear. This studey examined the potential effectiveness of three visual cues: 1) shark shapes, 2) illumination of nets by LED lights, and 3) nets illuminated with chemical lightsticks - for reducing green sea turtle bycatch in gillnets. The presence of shark shapes significantly reduced mean sea turtle catch rates by 54%, but also reduced target catch by 45%. Nets illuminated with LED lights significantly reduced sea turlte bycatch by 40% and had negligable impact on target catch. Lastly, nets illuminated with chemical lightsticks also reduced sea turtle catch rates by 60% and had no significant impact on target catch.