Testing trammel nets equipped with LED lights in Slovenia

On 10th June, the application of visual deterrents to set nets, in the form of green-coloured light-emitting diodes (LED), continued in collaboration with a fisherman operating in Piran Bay, Slovenia. The aim of this activity carried out by Department of Biodiversity, UP FAMNIT is to determine the effectiveness of such measures on reducing sea turtle bycatch and mortality rates and its suitability with respect to possible reductions in the catch rates of target fish species. John Wang, PhD from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA joined us at the start of the fieldwork and provided valuable insights that were used to optimise the data collection protocols and LED light attachment procedures. Several hundred lights will be attached to several trammel nets that will be set next to unmodified gear used as a control, allowing the researchers to compare results and determine whether there are significant differences that can be attributed to the deterrent. The activity is one of several that aim to reduce negative fisheries impacts and aid the establishment of effective conservation measures for sea turtles.