Friday 6 September 2013

Pinger alarm system helps prevent "Cetacean By-catch"

Every year thousands of unintended marine mammals lose their lives by becoming entangled and or strangled in commercial fishing nets and lines. This is known as “Cetacean By-catch”.

Marine scientists estimate that more than 300,000 Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (Cetaceans) accidentally drown in fishing nets every year. "Cetacean by-catch is a global problem and represents the single largest survival threat to many marine mammal populations around the world."

Scientists at the Future Oceans research laboratory in Queensland, Australia have developed a small but clever acoustic alert gadget that emits sound waves, tuned to alert Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises to the presence of fishing nets. These devices called Pingers have been scientifically proven to be the only known solution to significantly reduce cetacean by-catch.

Commercial fishing companies and individuals can easily see the benefits of using Pingers as they provide a highly effective, low cost solution to the often disastrous problems caused by interactions with Cetaceans. Once a humpback whale becomes entangled in in a fish net or line the company faces loss of their primary catch, but also loss of valuable time in working out how to proceed. And as the cost of commercial fishing gear continues to escalate worldwide, the voluntary use of Pingers is growing quickly.  

To help us get a grasp on the issue and the important role Pingers have in preventing “Cetacean By-catch” Lou Douros is in the process of creating a documentary feature film, but has in the meantime provided us with a sneak preview trailer Northern Wake, 8-minute Short Documentary.

Future Oceans "share an important responsibility with other stakeholders to develop awareness of cetacean by-catch and the role Pingers play in reducing the unnecessary loss of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises". Go here to add your support.

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