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Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch
Wang, J.; Barkan, J.; Fisler, S.; Godinez-Reyes, C.; Swimmer, Y. (2013). Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch. Biol. Lett. 9: 4 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1098/rsbl.2013.0383
In: Biology Letters. Royal Society Publishing: London. ISSN 1744-9561, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    sea turtles, bycatch, gillnets, UV vision

Authors  Top 
  • Wang, J.
  • Barkan, J.
  • Fisler, S.
  • Godinez-Reyes, C.
  • Swimmer, Y.

Abstract
    Fisheries bycatch of marine animals has been linked to population declines of multiple species, including many sea turtles. Altering the visual cues associated with fishing gear may reduce sea turtle bycatch. We examined the effectiveness of illuminating gillnets with ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes for reducing green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) interactions. We found that the mean sea turtle capture rate was reduced by 39.7% in UV-illuminated nets compared with nets without illumination. In collaboration with commercial fishermen, we tested UV net illumination in a bottom-set gillnet fishery in Baja California, Mexico. We did not find any difference in overall target fish catch rate or market value between net types. These findings suggest that UV net illumination may have applications in coastal and pelagic gillnet fisheries to reduce sea turtle bycatch.

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