Reducing green turtle bycatch in small-scale fisheries using illuminated gillnets: The cost of saving a sea turtle

  • Published source details Ortiz N., Mangel J.C., Wang J., Alfaro-Shigueto J., Pingo S., Jimenez A., Suarez T., Swimmer Y., Carvalho F. & Godley B.J. (2016) Reducing green turtle bycatch in small-scale fisheries using illuminated gillnets: The cost of saving a sea turtle. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 545, 251-259.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add lights to fishing gear

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Add lights to fishing gear

    A replicated, controlled, paired study in 2011–2013 on the seafloor in Sechura Bay, northern Peru (Ortiz et al. 2016) found that LED net illuminators reduced unwanted catch of green turtles Chelonia mydas in a bottom-set gillnet fishery. Green turtle bycatch was reduced using illuminated nets (0.5 individuals/km/day) compared to unlit nets (1.4). Commercially-targeted fish species catch was not affected by LED lighting (illuminated: 10.4 individual fish/km/day, unlit: 10.6). Eleven vessels were equipped with a pair of bottom-set gillnets (56.4 x 2.8 m), one without illumination and the other with green LED lights every 10 m along the float line. Boats set lines for a total of 114 overnight deployments. Pairs of nets were separated by 200 m to avoid lighting the control nets. The catch of sea turtles was recorded on board.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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