The use of LED lights on fishnets could bring down instances of sea turtles and dolphins being trapped in them, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by University of Exeter and Peruvian Conservation organisation ProDelphinus and published in the journal ‘Biological Conservation’, sheds light into several unknown facts about fishing.
The study has suggested that placing LED lights on fishnets could reduce the chances of turtles being caught by 70 per cent whereas dolphins and small cetaceans being caught could be reduced by 66 per cent.
The study was conducted by looking into small fishing vessels operating from three Peruvian ports between 2015 and 2018.
The experiment revealed that by putting lights on the fishnets, the amount of fish caught from ‘target species’ didn’t reduce. However, it helped in reducing the ‘accidental bycatch’ rates of sea turtles and dolphins, news agency ANI reported.
Lights were placed on every 10m along the float line of 864 gillnets, juxtaposing each light with a unit net to compare the results.
According to the study, around 86 per cent of the turtles caught were green turtles. But loggerhead and olive ridley turtles got trapped in the nets.
“The study has revealed the essence of lights on the net to save wildlife… We now needs lights which are even more robust and affordable,” said Prof. Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter, ANI added.