German members help saving porpoises from entanglement
Acoustic protection for marine mammals: new warning device PAL
LIFE’s German members from Fischereischutzverband, together with scientists from the Thunen Institute and acoustic experts, are now using new kind of pingers designed for small-scale netting operations s that have been tested for over two years in German and Danish waters. Results are promising: new devices are much better at scaring off harbor porpoises than those used until now, allowing to reduce the incidental catch rate by up to 70%.
The main novelty is that the „PAL” device, optimized for use in fishing, mimics the specific warnings of porpoises using their own ultrasonic orientation and communication frequencies. In other words, the gillnets equipped with PAL devices “speak the harbor porpoises’ language” to save them from entanglement. Fishers intend to participate in further developments of the pingers and support their use around German Baltic Sea waters.