Action: Use acoustic alerts on gillnets to reduce seabird bycatch
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
A repeated, randomised and controlled trial in the USA found that sonic alerts reduced the number of common guillemots Uria aalge but not rhinoceros auklets Cerorhinca monocerata caught in gillnets.
Using acoustic alerts on gillnets may deter birds from approaching them and becoming entangled.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A repeated, randomised and controlled trial in a drift gillnet fishery in North Puget Sound, Washington, USA, in July and August 1996 (Melvin et al. 1999), found that nets fitted with acoustic alerts (‘pingers’) caught significantly fewer common guillemots (common murres) Uria aalge than control nets (0.31 vs. 0.60 entanglements/net). There was no significant change in the number of rhinoceros auklets Cerorhinca monocerata caught. A total of eight boats and 321 net sets were studied.