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Enhancing the acoustic detectability of fishing nets to prevent entrapment of cetaceans - MF0507

R&D Summary Objectives:- Develop and test the use of sonar reflectors on passive fishing gears. Key customer purpose:- Fulfil Ministry commitments to the IWC and to the public to reduce the by-catch of cetaceans in passive fishing gears.
The main objective is to find a way of preventing cetaceans from swimming into nets and drowning. Most of the research will be done with the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) but it is anticipated that some will also be done with the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). The problem may be solvable if the animals can be made to detect a net as an impassable barrier well before they swim into it. The notion is to attach suitable reflectors (acoustic "cat's eyes") which the animals can detect at the maximum range of their sonar, but which do not cause net handling problems.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1993

To: 1997

Cost: £90,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Loughborough Univ of Technology, Electri
Marine Mammals              
Fields of Study
Marine Fisheries