Lighted nets to reduce sea turtle entanglement


(CNN) — Scientists are testing a new way to keep fishing nets from catching seat turtles: Light them up!

Some studies show that attaching simple LED lights to nets reduces the amount of turtles accidentally caught by up to 80 percent.

Additional research indicates this technique can also keep birds, sharks and dolphins out of nets.

Fishing nets are used worldwide, but they are not selective in what they catch.

Animals that are unintentionally caught are known as by-catch.

Not only does by-catch waste time for fishing operations, it often includes protected species.

Some experiments have shown illuminated nets can reduce by-catch without impacting the amount of targeted species caught.

Scientists are also investigating whether audio devices attached to nets can help minimize by-catch.

They hope they can combine light and sound to keep even more animals from becoming accidentally entangled.

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