In the framework of the project three new types of fishing gears were tested and used:
Long-lines (aiming to reduce bird by-catch when catching cod and possibly salmon) were tested in Lithuania. Usually fishermen catch these species with big-mesh sized gill nets. Big-mesh sized gill nets are especially dangerous to the birds.
Herring traps (aiming to reduce bird by-catch when catching herring and possibly smelt) were tested in Lithuania. Usually fishermen use small-mesh sized nets while catching these species. Even if small-mesh sized nets are not that dangerous, the big number of these gears in use still mean remarkable cumulative bird mortality.
"Seal-safe” fyke nets (catching many different fish species) were tested in Estonia. The difference between seal-safe and traditional fyke nets is that the first group of gears is constructed so that they do not cause mortality of seals and also can tolerate the attacks of these animals in search of food. So, such gears match both, the nature protection needs and are good for fishermen’s economy. The last point might not be that important for the first place. However, it is. If fishermen loose their catch through continuous seal attacks then they are unhappy and angry. Practical life has shown that unhappy angry fishermen can find many ways to “pay back to the animals”. This is illegal. But as environmental inspectorate has limited capacities in the Baltic States, this is unfortunately also typical. So, helping fishermen means giving some more peace to seals.
What was our detailed plan?
Was our plan innovative?
"Seal-safe” fyke nets