Seals and wild salmon fisheries (SSI Year 1)

  • Published source details Harris R.N. & Northridge S. (2016) Seals and wild salmon fisheries (SSI Year 1). Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) report, Report to Scottish Government SSI.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use acoustic devices on fishing gear

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use acoustic devices on fishing gear

    A controlled study in 2015 at a bay in the North Sea, Scotland, UK (Harris & Northridge 2016) found that using an active acoustic device alongside a bag-net reduced seal presence at the net and resulted in greater catches of undamaged fish (Salmonidae) compared to when the device was inactive. Seal presence was lower when the acoustic device was turned on than turned off (data reported as statistical model results; seal species not reported). Catch rates of fish without seal damage were greater with the acoustic device turned on than turned off (data reported as statistical model results). An acoustic device (Airmar dB Plus II) was deployed alongside a bag-net for five months in April–August 2015. The device was turned on (emitting acoustic signals; total 1,522 h) and off (silent; total 578 h) during randomly selected periods. An underwater video system recorded the presence of seals at the net with the acoustic device turned on (80 hauls) and off (39 hauls). Fishers recorded fish catches and seal damage during hauls with the acoustic device turned on (108 hauls) and off (50 hauls).

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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