Reducing Sea Turtle Bycatch
In many countries around the world, WWF has subsidised the use of green LED lights to attach to gill nets used for catching fish. These LEDs have been proven to reduce the bycath of sea turtles by up to 70%, as the green light deters them from the net. Additionally the green light seems to have increased the amount of fish caught.
Unfortunately, these LEDs are attached individually by the fishermen setting the nets. This makes the fishing trip over an hour longer, and more expensive as the fishermen have to replace the batteries every 6 weeks.
Duke Conservation Technology is re-engineering a prototype solution to make a more user-friendly, semi-permanent, cheaper LED to solve the issues with the current product. The project addresses the issues of conservation and sustainability in Indonesia, but can be expanded to many other areas of the globe where sea turtle (and other marine megafauna) bycatch is an issue.