For the past four years, trawlers on the West Coast have been hauling in vast amounts of pink shrimp, much of it destined for dainty salads and shrimp cocktails across the country. But though these have been boom times for shrimpers, many are uneasy.
Along with pink shrimp, their nets often scoop up a threatened smelt called eulachon. Many shrimpers worry that the species’ vulnerability could lead to new federal restrictions on their industry.
Now scientists in Oregon seem to have hit upon an effective and low-cost solution: Light up the nets.
Last July, fisheries biologists Robert Hannah and Stephen Jones of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Mark Lomeli of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission chartered a shrimp trawler for an unusual experiment.
The double-rigged boat, the Miss Yvonne, drags a pair of socklike nets a foot or two above the dark seafloor. The researchers placed 10 battery-powered green LEDs at the mouth of one net, tying them to the “footrope” on its bottom side. The other net was unlit.
The crew made one trawling tow, dumped the catch from each net into a divided hopper — and gaped in astonishment.
On one side of the hopper, the haul from the unlit net held lots of silvery eulachon, flatfishes and other so-called bycatch mixed in among bright pink shrimp. On the other side, the catch from the LED-lit net was virtually nothing but shrimp.
“We couldn’t believe what we were looking at,” Mr. Hannah said. Illuminating the net’s opening helped the eulachon dodge it. “They’re taking advantage of a little more light to see escape routes,” Mr. Jones said.
It is an all-too-rare example of a simple, affordable environmental fix that seems to produce instant benefits. Results of the Oregon researchers’ experiment, funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be published in a fisheries research journal. But already, the news has spread quickly through the state’s shrimping industry.
“Within two months, virtually the entire fleet was using these lights,” Mr. Hannah said.
Read more: Easy Solution for Shrimpers and Smelt Alike
The Latest on: Sustainable fishing
via Google News
The Latest on: Sustainable fishing
- EU set to miss goals on sea protection and sustainable fishing - European Court of Auditorson November 26, 2020 at 8:35 am
EU Member States have not done enough to restore European seas, a report released today by the European Court of Auditors finds. While an EU framework to protect the marine environment is in place, ...
- Maine fishing community mourns loss of 4 fishermen at seaon November 26, 2020 at 7:36 am
Maine’s commercial fishing community is mourning the loss of four fishermen who went missing when an 82-foot fishing vessel sank off Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Coast Guard said Tuesday it called ...
- Oxfam Italia, Bolton Food team up for a healthier, more sustainable fishing industryon November 26, 2020 at 2:42 am
Bolton Food and Oxfam Italia have teamed up to form a pioneering partnership to make the fishing industry more just and sustainable. © ANSA ...
- Essay: Serving salads while serving time — future of sustainable food found in Texas prisonson November 25, 2020 at 2:20 pm
Once released, he was able to get full-time work and support himself for the first time in his life. “When I came home I was very overwhelmed. I was destined to go back to drugs,” he says. “The life ...
- PH aims for sustainable fishing with $220-M loan from World Bankon November 25, 2020 at 1:28 pm
The World Bank will extend a $220-million loan to the Philippines next year to enhance the country’s marine resource management by controlling the harvest in some of its fishing grounds while also ...
- Coast Guard suspends search for missing fishing vessel crewon November 24, 2020 at 8:42 pm
The Coast Guard has called off the search for the four-member crew of a Maine fishing boat that sank off Massachusetts ...
- Future Orchards And Sustainable Fishing Systems Recognised In Primary Industry Awardson November 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Plant & Food Research Rangahau Ahumāra Kai has won two Primary Industry Awards, recognising innovations in orchard design and sustainable fishing systems. The Future Orchard Planting Systems (FOPS) ...
- 25 Organizations Supporting Sustainable Fishingon November 19, 2020 at 9:38 pm
And the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that nearly 60 million people make a living fishing or farming fish. But the world’s fisheries face various threats. Overfishing, illegal ...
- Namibian fishery is second in Africa to be certified as sustainableon November 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The Namibia Hake Trawl and Longline Fishery has become the first fishery in Namibia, and the second in Africa, to meet the globally recognised standard for sustainable fishing set by the Marine ...
- Namibia hake and longline fishery certified as sustainable – Ranked second in Africaon November 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The Namibia hake trawl and longline fishery has become the first fishery in the country, and the second in Africa, to meet the globally recognised standard for sustainable fishing set by the Marine ...
via Bing News