COMPETITION – Chance to win $8000 of marine acoustic devices to help reduce cetacean bycatch!

It is estimated that 600,000 marine mammals are bycaught in fisheries each year and that fishing poses the single greatest threat to the survival of many marine mammal populations globally. Fishtek Marine in collaboration with Chelonia Ltd are excited to announce the launch of a competition to give away a set of the scientific equipment used in the recent publication by Omeyer et al., 2020. The aim is to give other researchers the opportunity to gather data and evidence to support the use of acoustic pingers in drift, gill or set net fisheries.  We are looking for another region to repeat the study carried out in this research and to add to the increasing body of evidence showing that acoustic devices are likely to reduce cetacean bycatch, without long term negative consequences to local populations. This research would support the use of acoustic pingers as effective bycatch devices helping to protect and conserve cetaceans in net fisheries around the world.

What you could win…

We will be giving away x2 CPODs (Chelonia Ltd) and x1 Cycling Banana Pinger (Fishtek Marine) worth a combined price of $8000 USD. 

CPODs are fully automated passive acoustic monitoring instruments that detect porpoises, dolphins and other toothed whales by recognising the trains of echolocation. They can be deployed to at least 100m and have long running times.

Cycling Banana Pingers are specialist banana pingers that are designed to turn ON and OFF every 30 hours whilst underwater.

By combining cycling pingers with CPODs you are able to;

1) Determine the efficacy of the pinger at deterring cetaceans when the pinger is on compared to when it is off. 

2) Determine if habituation is occurring

3) Demonstrate that rapid re-occupation of areas occurs when the pinger stops

4) Demonstrate empirically the small range effect of pingers

5) Provide an evidence base to marine managers on the above benefitsD

Who should apply?

Anyone working with fisheries with the aim of reducing cetacean bycatch and ideally with the ability to publish scientific research. Applicants should demonstrate a  drive and strategy to achieve a conservation outcome in the next 3 years. We would also welcome Government regulators and fisheries authorities looking to comply with the new Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) import provisions to apply.  Preference for those working in the gill, drift and set net fisheries with cetacean bycatch issues and those working with Narrow Band High Frequency species (NBHF) and protected species (see table below)

Study design

Where possible we would like the study, design used in Omeyer et al., 2020 to be repeated.  This we hope will allow a body of evidence to be built using a robust data collection method that can provide reliable data from multiple fisheries in different regions.

You will be supported!!

If successful in the application, fisheries scientists from Exeter University (Professor Brendan Godley) Fishtek Marine (Dr. Robert Enever) and Chelonia Ltd (Dr. Nick Tregenza) will help you with your experimental design and data collection. We will also help you analyse the data and facilitate any publication that may arise from the work.

How to apply…

To apply just fill out the form below outlining what research you wish to carry out, what area in the world you would be working, including details of fisheries and species involved. Deadline for applications are 30/06/2020 and we will be in touch with the winning applicant by 04/07/2020 If you have any further questions please contact us at info@fishtekmarine.com. We look forward to hearing from you! Preference will be given to applicants that set out a clear plan on how they intend to use the data collected  to achieve a conservation outcome for small cetaceans