Ocean Action Hub

3 May 2019 - Low-cost acoustic tags attached to fishing nets are being trialled as part of a major new project to reduce marine litter and 'ghost fishing'.

Lost fishing gear—known as ghost nets—are a major threat to life in our oceans. Choking coral reefs, damaging marine habitats and entangling fish, marine mammals and seabirds, they are also a danger to boats, catching in the propellers. And they are a key source of plastic pollution, gradually breaking up and disintegrating to add to the growing volume of microplastics in the ocean.

Often lost during storms or in strong currents, the nets can travel long distances and can continue to fish for years afterwards—hence the phrase ghost fishing. Because of this, locating and removing the nets is both highly desirable and a major challenge.

The new NetTag project has been set up to try to reduce and prevent marine litter by developing new technology for the location and recovery of lost fishing gear based on miniature transponders—acoustic devices that pick up and automatically respond to an incoming signal. The project also aims to promote improved practices for the management of fishing waste.

The project is a collaboration between Newcastle University (UK) who develop underwater communication and tracking technology, CIIMAR (PT), INESC-TEC (PT), and the Universities of Aveiro (PT) and Santiago de Compostela (ES), together with stakeholders from the fishing industry across Europe.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-miniature-transponder-technology-war-ocean.html

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Publication date: 
03/05/2019
Publication Organisation: 
Phys.org
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