LED lights help guide salmon to openings in trawl nets

Low-cost LED lights can help Chinook salmon escape trawl nets.

A 2020 study by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center showed that LEDs are very effective in directing Chinook salmon to escape openings in trawl nets targeting Pacific hake, the largest groundfish fishery on the West Coast that typically takes more than 500 million pounds a year.

The study showed that Chinook are much more likely to exit the nets where lights are placed — 86% of escaped salmon used the LED-framed openings — without fishermen losing the targeted catch.

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