Water Cannons


Water cannons (also known as fire hoses or water sprayers) found onboard fishing vessels have anecdotally been used to keep seabirds away from areas of fishing activity alongside longline and trawl vessels. This prevents birds from getting hooked, tangled in nets, or from striking trawl cables. The cannons’ range is usually insufficient to effectively deter seabirds from interaction with baited hooks in longline fisheries, but has potential use in trawl fisheries, where the trawl nets and cables are often closer to the vessel.

Source: BLI Factsheet


Water cannons have reportedly been trialled to avoid seabird bycatch in a tuna longline fishery, with varying success but were deemed unsuitable for replacing bird-scaring lines on longline boats, due to insufficient range. The trial did suggest that the technique could be useful in trawl fisheries, where bird-scaring lines do not extend as far from the vessel. However, a 2019 trial in a New Zealand squid trawl fishery  also found the method to be ineffective, possibly in part due to the practical difficulties of using it in high winds – although the researchers said it may still be viable in other fisheries which typically encounter lower wind speeds at sea

This page was last updated on 12.10.23.

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BLI/ ACAP Factsheet

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