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Commercial and recreational marine fisheries

Pink Shrimp Bycatch Reduction - LEDs

LED fishing lights:

2014 research showed that use of properly placed light emitting diodes (LED) fishing lights attracted fish away from entry into the trawl net, thus elimating them prior to entrainment into the net. The use of LED's results in sharp reduction of fish such as smelt, rockfish and flatfish. Findings showed 90% reduction of Eulachon smelt, 78% reduction of juvenile rockfish, 69% reduction of flatfish while having no significant impact on shrimp catch. see 2014 mid season report here.

LED fishing usage was immediately adopted by nearly all shrimp trawlers in Oregon to reduce bycatch of fish. Emerging use of LED's represent a leap forward in reduction of bycatch within the shrimp fishery. This was particularly timely as Eulachon smelt, a historically common bycatch of pink shrimp trawling, was listed as "Threatened" in 2010.


This hopper holds the port side catch

(NO LEDs used)

Since BRDs were used many of the large fish are excluded, however since this was in an area with many small Eulachon smelt they were caught.

shrimp hopper

This hopper holds the starboard side catch

(LED lights used)

The catch is primarily shrimp, as BRDs eliminated many of the large fish and LEDs attracted away many of the small smelt


How LED's work

As seen in the diagram, fish see the LED fishing lights then avoid the net. This method is most effective for strong swimming fish such as Eulachon smelt, juvenile rockfish and flat fish. Click the illustration for a animation of how this works.

LED's in shrimp nets

see animation of LED exclusion of Eulachon smelt




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