Fishing nets to be fitted with dolphin-repel alarm system

Fishing boats in Olhão are to start taking part in a pioneering new study designed to save the number of dolphins killed every year after being caught-up in nets.

The idea involves attaching acoustic alarms to the nets which should blare as the animals make their approach, and warn them off.

The project is being run out of the University of the Algarve’s CCMAR centre.

Says investigator Ana Marçelo it most certainly won’t be a solution to the problem, but it will help marine conservationists understand what they are up against and hopefully allow them to ‘make conclusions’ after tests have been left to run over the period of a few months.

Explain reports, the problem of dolphin and whale species being caught-up and ultimately dying in fishing nets is global.

It doesn’t only deplete these animals’ populations, it causes ‘elevated economic damages’ to the fishing industry which loses fish to the marauders and ultimately sees nets damaged.

CCMAR’s focus in these initial studies will be on the ‘golfinho roaz-corvineiro’ (the common bottlenose dolphin) which “is the most problematic in terms of interaction with nets”).

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