The problem

Entanglement of cetaceans in fishing gear remains a principle concern for fishers, marine managers, and conservationists globally. Bycatch in commercial fisheries is probably the most important single threat to many populations of small cetaceans worldwide.

The technology exists to reduce the risk of bycatch, but whilst acoustic deterrents (pingers) have been shown to effectively reduce bycatch of small cetaceans in fishing gear, particularly gill nets uptake has been low (Larsen et al 2013).

Until now, the uptake of these technologies by the fishing industry has been limited due to issues surrounding their cost, durability and ease of use.

The solution

Fishtek have listened carefully. For the past 8 years, Fishtek’s team of engineers, scientists, fishers and conservationists have worked collaboratively to overcome these operational issues and we are excited to be able to offer the first low cost, durable, and practical acoustic deterrent that effectively prevents marine mammal bycatch:

The Banana Pinger.

Banana Pinger has three variations designed to alert whales, dolphin and porpoise.

porpoise

bycatch

fisherman-pinger netter-with-pinger

Low cost

The Banana Pinger is one of the most effective pingers to purchase and the cheapest to operate, with an expected lifespan of >5 years. Running costs are minimal with one standard C battery required each year, costing €1, a total of €4.5 per km of net per year. Disposable pingers can cost 10 times as much.

Durable

The Banana Pinger is the only pinger with a super-durable rubber carrier. The pinger unit has a depth rating of 800m and has been tested to below 1000m. Toughness means longer life, greater reliability and reduced costs.

Effective

Optimised pings! The Banana Pinger acoustic output meets both EU and US regulations so pingers can be spaced at 200m. The ping production has been optimised to prolong battery life. Each ping reaches a source level of 145dB with a randomised structure, including harmonics. During recent sea trials the detection rate of porpoises around nets with Banana Pingers attached was reduced by 82% as well as being highly effective at keeping dolphins away.

Easy to use

The easiest to use pinger*! The pinger unit can be swapped with a spare unit with a fresh battery so that the battery can be changed in a dry place – no untying required! The immersed weight in water is 37g (compared to immersed weights of up to 120g for other pingers on the market) so it can be threaded onto the ropes joining net panels on either head or foot rope without interfering with the set of the net.

*It’s no accident the pinger is shaped like a banana! We have engineered the casing to ensure that when the pinger comes back on-board it doesn’t get caught on the rails – the banana shaped casing means the pinger rotates smoothly over the rails on hauling preventing snags and subsequent downtime in fishing operations.

In the press

Banana Pingers are highly effective at mitigating bycatchThe Banana Pinger Trial: Investigation into the Fishtek Banana Pinger to reduce cetacean bycatch in an inshore set net fishery

The future is bright, the future is yellow: Banana Pinger sea trial presentation by Cornwall wildlife trust

Welsh Fishermen’s Association commercial trial of the Fishtek “Banana Pinger” Cetacean Deterrent

Banana Pingers cannot be detected by seals: Investigation into the attraction of Atlantic grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) to the Fishtek Banana Pinger

 

In addition to being cheap, durable, effective and easy to use, we have considered further the needs of fisherman and managers alike and built in some simple yet effective technologies that make the Banana Pinger the market leader:

Performance

Easy to monitor

Indicator lights that let the fishers know when the battery will need to be replaced. The pinger has a bright LED light that flashes continuously and switches from a green flash to a red flash when a battery change is needed. The flash is visible in direct sunlight, but switches off once immersed in water to conserve battery power.

battery

A long battery life

Lasts 1 year with average use of 50% of time in water and is cheap and easy to replace*. The pinger has an advanced sensor so that it reliably turns off when out of water. Pingers do not stay on when in contact with wet nets, such as net bins, further conserving battery life.

Environment

Environment

The replaceable C2 alkaline cell means that waste is minimal compared to lithium cells used by other acoustic deterrents. The highly efficient sound production produces a focussed acoustic field ensuring noise pollution is kept to a minimum.

Safety

Safety

The safest pinger! The low weight, rubber housing removes the risk of injury to fishermen. The absence of lithium batteries used in other acoustic deterrents removes the fire or explosion risk. The method of attachment avoids weakening net ropes and the robust construction means no broken pingers with sharp edges, even in the harshest of conditions!

Legislation

Legislation Compliant

Banana Pinger have been designed to be fully compliant with both EU and US legislation regarding the use of acoustic deterrents as a means of bycatch mitigation.

*batteries are replaced by the user without having to order expensive replacements from suppliers/manufacturers – batteries are a standard C2 alkaline cell that can be brought at your local supermarket.

Buy deterrent pingers

See accessories for this range

For more information contact Fishtek

Prices and order hotline:

email: info@fishtekmarine.com
tel: +44 (0) 1803 849311 / 866680

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