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Sounds Like A Great Idea

South East Inshore Finfish Ltd director Peter Dawson said he was pleased to announce that Canterbury set net fishermen will voluntarily use pingers on their nets to deter Hectors dolphins.

Acoustic pingers emit sounds that deter Hectors dolphins. Mr Dawson said the devices appear to be a cost-effective method to drastically reduce the number of the mammals caught in nets.

“We are committed to reducing the numbers of the Hectors dolphins caught in the nets so we are pulling out all stops to make sure we are successful.”

Mr Dawson said the fishermen were also funding a $60,000 observer programme to monitor the use of pingers and the company had also hired USA scientist Greg Stone to analyse the results of the programme.

The move by the fishermen was reflective of the proactive stance the industry was taking towards environmental issues.

“Fishermen are often the first to initiate moves to minimise the impact on the marine ecosystem. The industry has invested heavily in research to find ways to overcome the problem and have come the conclusion that the pingers are the way to go,” he said.

“New Zealand fishermen are very mindful of minimising the impacts on the marine environment as they are well aware that a healthy marine ecosystem results in healthy fisheries.”

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