FisherySafe™ protects your catch from predatory seals

As with aquafarming, hungry mammals present a significant threat to commercial fishing. Every year, seals cut into the size and profitability of fishing activities, destroy fishing gear or get injured or tangled in the nets. They have been known to threaten a boat’s entire catch on some occasions.

GenusWave’s FisherySafe™ program is proving to be the solution. It is based on the same acoustic startle technology proven to prevent seal predation on fish farms

Research conducted by Bόrd Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish agency responsible for developing the Irish seafood industry, determined that significant depredation in deep bottom set nets occurs when fish are in midwater during hauling. BIM went on to fund two field studies to determine the efficacy of GenusWave startle technology in warding off the seals in jigging and gillnet fisheries.

FisherySafe™ acoustic technology works by triggering the fundamental mammalian startle reflex with which the animal protects itself from harm. A signal within a frequency range where the group of target species is more sensitive than the non-target species is used. This signal triggers the startle reflex which is then followed by a flight response and the animal is conditioned to avoid the area. Animals do not habituate to the reflex; repeated exposure typically leads to increased responsiveness.

The studies found that FisherySafe™ does reduce depredation in jigging fisheries where depredation is known to be localized. In set gill net fisheries, a positive effect was found in shallow water. Research trials with fishing vessels documented an average increase in catch of 74%. GenusWave is preparing FisherySafe™ for commercial deployment, a welcome prospect for an industry in need of advanced technology.

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