Who and what?
Clean Catch UK (CCUK) is a collaborative, UK-wide research programme, run by Cefas. CCUK supports fishermen and scientists to work together to better monitor and reduce wildlife bycatch.
Working with fishermen in Cornwall, we are in the process of developing a new piece of kit: the Passive Acoustic Reflector (PAR). PARs are designed to retro-fit to the headline of gill nets, trammel and tangle nets, either alongside floats – or replacing them. PARs either have the same buoyancy as headline floats or are available neutrally buoyant.
PARs work by reflecting sound back at cetaceans – bouncing back their ‘clicks’ from when they are navigating and feeding. This hopefully better alerts the dolphin or porpoise to the presence of the net in front of them.
There are no batteries or electronics, and no maintenance required.
This is a new product. We now need to test it and see how it works during sea trials. Starting from January 2022, we are seeking 10 vessels in the South-west using static nets (gill, trammel, tangle) to trial how effective, robust, and practical PARs are whilst you fish as you usually would.
What would I need to do?
PARs would need to be retro-fitted to the headrope of some of your gear and shot alongside your unaltered gear whilst you go about your usual fishing. We will ask you to use a simple app to record fishing activity and bycatch. We will require your feedback on how to improve the PARs, and we’ll feedback progress of the trials at quarterly meetings of our Local Focus Group in Cornwall.
A small financial contribution of £50.00 per month is available in return for data submitted via the app over a 12-month period.
How do I get involved?
If you are interested in taking part, please click here and fill out this form by 12 January 2022. If you have any questions please get in touch with the Clean Catch UK team via firstname.lastname@example.org.