Commercial and recreational fishermen catch fishes and other types of seafood with nets, traps, ropes and hooks. Some fishing gear—such as lobster pots and crab traps—is very selective, and rarely captures unwanted species or too-small individuals. Other gear—including most nets and hooks—will catch a wide range of unwanted marine animals in addition to the targeted seafood species. We work with fishermen and scientists to modify this non-selective fishing gear in order to reduce the rate of bycatch.

Projects

We collaborate with the Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction to research and develop new and innovative fishing devices and methods that reduce the threat of bycatch to sea turtles, large whales, sharks and other marine animals.

Results and Successes

We have developed acoustic pingers that successfully warn dolphins and porpoises away from gillnets. More recently, we have successfully shown that metals may be usable as shark repellents in hook-based fisheries.