Scientists accidentally discover ‘scallop discos’ as an eco-friendly fishing method

Virtually 30,000 tonnes of scallops are landed by the UK fleet annually, based on authorities statistics. Hitherto, catching them has come at an enormous environmental value. 

Massive-scale industrial scallop harvesting makes use of dredges to scrape the shellfish from the ocean mattress – a observe that damages delicate habitats and different species. Getting scuba divers to do the job by hand is time consuming and costly.

Researchers from the College of York have been working with Devon-based fisheries consultancy Fishtek Marine to plot a brand new method of catching crab and lobster once they made their exceptional scallop discovery.

As a substitute of losing fish shares by baiting crab pots, they tried utilizing LED lights as lures on fisheries off the Cornish coast. However though the marine crustaceans did not fall for the ruse, scallops – which have wonderful imaginative and prescient and as much as 200 eyes – did.

“I couldn’t consider my eyes. I used to be sceptical that it will work, however the first time we hauled the pots and noticed the scallops inside, we knew we had found one thing important,” stated Fishtek Marine’s Dr Rob Enever, lead creator of the examine. “It was so thrilling that I may hardly sleep for just a few nights.”

The concept has undergone additional checks utilizing funding from Pure England and the UK authorities’s Seafood Innovation Fund. It revealed that scallops do certainly discover the lure of disco lights irresistible.

It’s hoped the invention will result in new, much less invasive industrial fishing strategies.

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