Modifying Gillnets to Reduce Entanglement of Cetaceans

Dawson SM (1991) Modifying Gillnets to Reduce Entanglement of Cetaceans. Marine Mammal Science 7:274–282. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1991.tb00102.x

To reduce the number of cetaceans caught incidentally in gillnets, two forms of acoustic modifications have previously been proposed. These modifications seek to make gillnets more obvious to cetaceans so they can avoid them, and include making gillnets more reflective to cetacean sonar and placing active sound emitters in the nets. I discuss the relationship between sonar and net entanglement, and address the assumptions and logic of net modification strategies. I argue that neither strategy is likely to be effective, and that reductions in the number of cetaceans killed in gillnets are best achieved through the closure of specific areas to gillnetting.