Pinger affects fish catch efficiency and damage to bottom gill nets related to bottlenose dolphins

Gianluca Sara', Angela Cuttitta, Gaspare Buffa, Salvatore Mazzola, Angelo Bonanno, Giuseppa Buscaino, Marta Jussara Cremer, Antonio Bellante, Fernando Augusto Sliva Hardt, Antonio Josè Tonello Jr.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


There is some evidence that the presence of Tursiops truncatus in fishing areas represents a real economic threat to fishermen due the dolphin feeding on the entangled fish, damaging the nets and reducing the fish catch. We have carried out experiments to assess the efficiency of a pinger in decreasing the interaction between the dolphins and fishing nets, in a fishing area off the coast of southern Italy, where Tursiops truncatus is frequently observed to interact with bottom gill nets. Two identical monofilament bottom gill nets (900 m long), one equipped with pingers and the other without, were used to measure the effect of these pingers on the abundance of the catch and net damage. For each haul (58 in total), data on dolphin sightings near the nets, damage judged to have been done by dolphins, weight and species composition of the catch were collected. All damage to the nets were recorded at the end of each haul. Dolphins in the fishing area were sighted 11 times out of 29 fishing activities (38%). The net equipped with pingers contained 28% more fish (biomass) than the net without pingers (t test, P\0.04) and was less damaged (-31%, t test, P\0.01). To assess whether the efficacy of these pingers remain constant over long period, long-term experiments should be carried out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalFisheries Science
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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