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How to stop snagging “threatened” smelt in shrimp nets!

No LEDs left, with LEDs right.

No LEDs left, with LEDs right.
NOAA photo

Every time a shrimper pulls up their nets full of shrimp, they often find smelt all through the catch – smelt being a “by-catch” problem – fish that are incidental to what the fishermen want.

Trouble is, certain smelt are considered a threatened species because of their steep decline in numbers since 2000. And they are a very important source of food in the ocean food chain.

So NOAA put out a challenge to those who might come up with a way to reduce smelt by-catch. One idea that seems to be working involves three letters: L, E and D. LED lights! Just show the smelt an escape route and it looks like they’ll take it.

Here’s more from NOAA: Click here.

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