Scientists Team With Fishermen on Tracking Technology

PROVINCETOWN – Scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are working with local commercial fishermen to install video monitoring equipment on gillnets.

Fishery bycatch — the incidental capture of a species that is not targeted–has lead to the deaths of marine mammals around the world, as well as damage caused to fishing equipment.

Mammals such as seals are attracted to the fish caught in the nets, and in turn damage the nets and can even get caught in the nets as well.

Center for Coastal Studies Director of Marine Fisheries Research Owen Nichols said camera equipment and remotely operated vehicles will be used with the nets to understand the behavior of the animals.

“What that does is it gives us, essentially, a picture of what’s happening as different types of animals all interact with the nets,” Nichols said.

“It hopefully will give us some information to help fishermen understand what’s happening around their nets as they try to avoid interactions with seals, for example.”

Analysis of the data will advise fishermen how much of the catch a predator is able to consume, and the partners will then determine how to modify fishermen’s practices.


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