Scallops are drawn to illuminated fishing pots like moths go to a candle, new analysis exhibits.
The research examined the impact of LED lights on crab and lobster pots utilized by fishing boats off the coast of Cornwall, in the UK, and the analysis crew – together with engineering agency Fishtek Marine and the College of Exeter – have been shocked by the outcomes.
Greater than 500 scallops have been caught – 99.6 % of them in pots with lights – and in line with the analysis crew, shellfish have been piling into the pots.
Wild-caught scallops are normally fished utilizing dredges and trawls, so the findings current an opportunity to develop a brand new, low-impact fishing methodology for the high-price seafood.
In accordance with the analysis crew, the necessity for exploring new methods of fishing arose as a result of ineffectiveness of the standard strategies: the penetrative nature of dredges and trawls can doubtlessly trigger injury to delicate marine habitats; and diver caught scallops can solely provide restricted portions.
“We have been engaged on lights for crab and lobster pots and I gave some to a fisherman for testing,” stated Rob Enever, head of science and uptake at Fishtek.
“He informed me the lights made no distinction to crabs or lobsters, however he observed various scallops in his pots.
“We determined to check this correctly on this research. Once I noticed the outcomes, I could not imagine my eyes.
“Boats that might solely see two or three scallops of their pots yearly have been now seeing 20 or extra in a single pot.
“We’ve discovered one thing actually astonishing right here.
“This could possibly be an actual alternative for crab and lobster fishers, as a result of the lights do not appear to scale back the variety of crabs and lobsters they will catch – they simply herald an additional haul of scallops.”
Additional work is deliberate this summer time to optimize this new methodology of fishing by attempting totally different lights and pot designs in numerous areas of the U.Ok. in an effort to set up a brand new, low-impact and commercially viable fishery for scallops.
Phil Doherty, from the College of Exeter, stated: “We’re delighted to be working with a wonderful native firm to do the science that underpins innovation that could possibly be good for fishers and the atmosphere.”
The research crew included the College of York, and the analysis was funded by Defra’s Seafood Innovation Fund and Pure England.
The research, printed within the journal Fisheries Analysis, is entitled: “Scallop potting with lights: A novel, low affect methodology for catching European king scallop (Pecten maximus).”
This story was offered to Newsweek by Zenger Information.