Scuba Diver Magazines

Conservationists hope new research will lift ban on small boat ‘pingers’

Related stories

Photo of the Year Competition

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions Photo of the Year Competition...

2022 Underwater Tour Awards Entries Now Open

2022 Underwater Tour Awards $40,000 Prize Pool Entries open now We're...

Challenger Deep Expedition to the Deepest Point on Earth

Esri's Dawn Wright Successfully dives Challenger Deep at 10,919...

Stunning Pulau Payar has Reopened

A Humbling Return, Pulau Payar has Reopened A protected...

Vanuatu to Reopen to International Travellers in July

Vanuatu will begin quarantine-free travel from 1 July, 2022 The...

Conservationists are hoping that new research that proves the effectiveness of ‘pingers' will lead to the UK Government lifting its ban on their use in small boats.

‘Pingers' are acoustic devices that deter cetaceans such as porpoises and dolphins from hunting around fishing nets – something that sees thousands of the mammals drowning every year after getting caught up in the nets.

The new study, which was published in May, proved that the devices kept the animals away from the nets, but did not prevent them from returning to feed in that area after the fishermen had left.

Ruth Williams, of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, explained that back in 2017, they were approached by fishermen from the Cornish village of Mevagissey, who wanted to use ‘pingers' in their boats, as not only did it prevent bycatch of marine mammals, but it also saved them a lot of time and money spent repairing their damaged nets.

They provided the devices, which proved highly effective, but then it was revealed that they needed a licence from the Marine Management Organization (MMO). Williams applied for one in 2018 and it was refused – on the grounds that the ‘pingers' could disturb animals by putting noise into the environment. Bizarrely, under EU rules, ‘pingers' are mandatory on vessels that are more than 12 metres in length, but this only represents a paltry two percent of all boats using static nets.

In a statement, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said they were seeking to understand how ‘pingers' could be deployed, but that it was not a ‘one size fits all' situation.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.

Subscribe

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Scuba Diver news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest stories

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x