Did you attend our presentation during Fish Facts’ Virtual Expo 2 weeks back, in which our colleague Jeroen presented EuroGlow® Glow-in-the-Dark netting? If not, not an issue, because here you can read all about this latest innovation, and how it is about to revolutionize the fishing industry.
First about the Expo; the first-ever virtual exhibition organized by the Fish Facts team. We greatly enjoyed it, we always like to be on the forefront of innovation, proud and happy we presented ourselves – may many of such exhibition follow; GO FISH FACTS!
But now, back to EuroGlow®. Light has been a source for attracting fish for centuries. And in recent years, it has also become a subject in discussions on SELECTIVITY; how could light prevent catching unwanted species?
Euronete understood the potential of light very well. Therefore, Euronete’s R&D team focussed on the subected and developed our EuroGlow® range of luminous (“glow-in the-dark”) netting (for which even a patent is granted), that initially focused on crab pot fisheries. As Jeroen explained in his presentation, the netting is easily charged by a wide range of lights like the natural UV light (so, no need for electrical charging) and starts illuminating (“glowing”) once in the dark under the water surface.
Two separate research programs in both Canada and Russia’s Far East have proven that both Snow and King Crab like the “bling-bling” of light, and crab fishermen reported increased catches of between 30% and 50% on like-for-like comparative testing with conventional pots rigged with standard black netting. The Canadian Marine Institute investigated and showed Euroglow® can be used to increase catch rates of snow crab in trap fisheries (figure 1) and this work was published by the American Fisheries Society on Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. (Nguyen et al . Pedro Sá, R&D Manager at Euronete mentions: “We are pleased to see the results of developing smart fibers to play different roles as safety or influencing species behavior contributing for sustainability and generating value to fisherman increasing catch value.”
Irina Kichigina from the company Master Lova, Euronete’s representative for the Russian market, comments: “Russia is among the world’s leading crab catching countries, and massive investment programs are underway. So, increasing the efficiency of the fisheries plays a vital role. One of our customers out of Vladivostok early-on understood the potential of EuroGlow® and has, after a series of testing in 2019, decided to implement EuroGlow® on a larger scale, rigging several 1000 of traps with it as we speak”.
Figure 1: A photograph of luminescent trap in the dark, Nguyen et al .
So, EuroGlow® can improve fishing efficiency by attracting species, that much we have proven. That however also means, it may very well attract fish you want to exclude from your catches towards exclusion devices. Various trials on using light for selectivity have been conducted or are underway, with a number of those focusing on implementing LED lights close to excluder nets for example. The concept works, but LED lights need power (battery or a-like) and are prone to being damaged and need to be discarded. And this is where EuroGlow® comes into play, as it is a structural element of the trawl body, designed for the purpose itself. This concepts is being tested, and we will keep you updated!
At Euronete we involve ourselves closely in a numbers of aforementioned studies, whether these are aimed at catching more of the target species or catching less of bycatch and choke species. Make sure to stay tuned on our regular news updates, or just get in touch with our team to get more info!