By Tomasz Linkowski & Anetta Ameryk, Polish National Marine Fisheries Research Institute NMFRI
For the first time in EU waters, we want to test net lighting in Polish gillnet fisheries to minimise seabird bycatch, thanks to a new project coordinated by BirdLife International and funded by the European Commission to specifically look at gillnet bycatch mitigation. As part of BirdLife’s existing work in the Baltic (Lithuania), testing of net panels is already being carried out, so it only made sense to examine the efficacy of an alternate measure in Poland. While it was relatively easy to come up with a solution, actually implementing it turned out to be a challenge!
At the beginning of December, we decided together with BirdLife International that due to light conditions prevailing in the winter season in the the South Baltic, net lighting instead of the high contrast panels (see below) already tested in Lithuania should be more effective in protecting birds against their accidental bycatch in gillnets. (more…)