Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by birdsandbats, 1 Dec 2017.
Tangled and drowned: new study links penguin declines with fishing activity
Sheesh, are there any marine animals that don't end up as bycatch? Maybe polar bears and deep sea monsters.
A new study shows that simply making the nets orange could save so many birds from dying:
Simple colour test could save thousands of seabirds
Penguins at Melbourne Zoo have helped researchers understand why so many sea birds get trapped in gillnets each year.
It’s estimated more than 400,000 birds are trapped and killed annually.
But a new study has revealed that simply changing the colour of the gillnet material could help save hundreds of thousands of penguins.
“We were able to recognise penguins do recognise colour difference,” Roshan Hanamseth from the Hobart Institute for Marine and Antarctic studies said.
“The contrast of the orange stood out, compared to the traditional translucent colours of white and green.”
Researchers found that penguins collided with the while gillnets 35 percent of the time, compared to only 5 per cent of the time with the orange materials.
“Penguins came close to orange coloured nets and then turned around. But they almost never saw the clear and green lines and collided straight into them,” Mr Hanamseth said.
Four researchers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic studies, as well as zoo staff and volunteers conducted the study over three weeks in Melbourne.
“This research is almost impossible to conduct off the back of a fishing boat,” Doctor Barry Baker from the Institute said.
“We needed to have the material in position in the water. Then we needed to have some understanding of what happens when penguins approach various material.
“The zoo proved to be the ideal location for this purpose, with an underwater portal to view the actions of penguins as they approached gillnet mimics.”
It is hoped the results of this research will help to reduce the number of sea birds killed annually.
Zuiyo-maru carcass - Wikipedia
@Chlidonias That’s great news for penguins and seabirds, though I wonder if it would have any effect on actual catch, since most fish species have color vision as well.
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