In the commercial fishing industry, large nets are commonly used to boost efficiency out in the water. This technique is practical, but also comes with some concerns. A major issue is the gathering of young or premature fish and marine creatures. In various countries worldwide, regulations protect premature fish, ensuring only fully grown fish are caught. LED fishing lights can assist such guidelines, by enhancing visibility in and around the net.
LED Fishing Lights
The type of LEDs used for commercial fishing includes a compact LED ring that attaches to the net. When applied, these lights help reduce the catching of young fish. The units illuminate large openings on the net, allowing small fish to escape. Larger fish cannot fit through the opening and are caught. The LED lights are wireless and battery powered. With 360-degree illumination and blinking patterns, the lights are clearly visible underwater.
In a recent study, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration previously used this setup and was able to decrease accidental catches by up to 60 percent. At the moment, around 40 percent of fish caught annually worldwide consist of young fish or endangered wildlife (whales, birds and more).
Catching Squid with LED Boat Lights
Interestingly, this solution is also applicable for preventing endangered species, such as turtles. Commercial operations hunting for squid may apply this lighting technique to decrease encounters with bottom-feeding fish, such as flounder.
It is important to point out that premature fish must be able to escape through the ring. With this in mind, the size of the ring must be configured, based on the type of young fish in the fishing area. Roughly three diodes in the setup is sufficient for illumination. The components are located around the ring, so that only the escape ‘window’ can be highlighted. Other parts of the net are not illuminated.