of course i live in brooklyn, and dont know anyone at all that fishes…
but, if it will save some turtles i believe its worth posting.
the kind folks at the world wildlife federation are having a contest
HELPING TO PREVENT BYCATCH — SMART GEAR CONTEST 2007
Fisheries bycatch is the leading threat to many endangered marine mammals, cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds and certain fish species.
WWF and our partners created the International Smart Gear Competition to inspire innovative, practical, cost-effective ideas that allow fishermen to “fish smarter” – to better target their intended catch while reducing bycatch.
The competition is open to all – fishermen, professional gear manufacturers, teachers, students, engineers, scientists and backyard inventors.
Bycatch – What is the problem?
Since the development some 50 years ago of cheaper fishing gear and bigger, faster boats, thousands of miles of nets and lines have been set in the world’s oceans each day. Modern fishing gear, often invisible to sight and extremely strong, is very efficient at catching the desired fish species – as well as anything else in its path. A staggering amount of marine life is hauled up with the catch, and then usually discarded overboard dead or dying.
The numbers are truly frightening. For example:
Many of the fish and other animals caught in fishing gear are thrown away as unwanted bycatch – amounting to many millions of metric tons of marine life wasted each year.
Over 300,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises die from entanglement in fishing nets each year, making bycatch the single largest cause of mortality for small cetaceans and pushing several species to the verge of extinction.
Over 250,000 endangered loggerhead turtles and critically endangered leatherback turtles are caught annually on longlines set for tuna, swordfish, and other fish, with thousands more killed in shrimp trawls.
26 species of seabird, including 17 albatross species, are threatened with extinction because of longlining, which kills more than 300,000 seabirds each year.
89 per cent of hammerhead sharks and 80 per cent of thresher and white sharks have disappeared from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean in the last 18 years, largely due to bycatch.
Shrimp trawlers catch as many as 35 million juvenile red snappers each year in the Gulf of Mexico, enough to have an impact on the population.
Billions of corals, sponges, starfish, and other invertebrates are caught as bycatch every year
Bycatch – So what’s the answer?
A combination turtle excluder device/bycatch reduction device manufactured by Saunders Marine Machine Shop. Turtles escape by swimming forward and out of the large holes in the net. Shrimp are swept into the bag at the end of the net and cannot swim out. � NOAA
There is growing acceptance by fishing industry leaders of the need to reduce bycatch. Proven solutions do exist, such as modifying fishing gear so that either fewer non-target species are caught or non-target species can escape. In many cases, these modifications are simple and inexpensive, with the best innovations usually coming from fishers themselves.
WWF and its partners are key players in efforts to reduce bycatch. Our aim is to encourage sustainability in the world’s fisheries, by working with all those involved – fishers, consumers, the seafood industry, and governments – to provide practical solutions to counteract the enormous environmental harm that bycatch is causing.
Inspiring innovations in fishing gear
Improving fishing gear is a key step in reducing bycatch. To this end, WWF is working to inspire and reward new ideas for selective fishing through the International Smart Gear Competition. Launched in 2004 in partnership with industry leaders, scientists, and fishers, the competition encourages creative solutions that will allow fishers to fish smarter – better targeting their intended catch while safeguarding other ocean creatures.
to learn more, for the rules, to enter to win–entry forms, to read about last year’s winners
go to the world wildlife federation site and click away.
save the turtles and their friends. dont go fishing and dont eat fish.