Under the leadership of the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund (GFCPF), groundfish sector gillnet fishermen are now beginning to use a new kind of pinger -- an acoustic alarm device that emits a 10kHz frequency to deter marine mammals from swimming close to gillnets. The new light emitting diode (LED) pinger enables fishermen and regulatory authorities to easily confirm that the devices are operating correctly by observing if the LEDs on the pingers are blinking.
In November 2012, the GFCPF received 1,800 LED pingers for fishermen to test. Initial feedbck to GFCPF and the manufacturer has been positive. The GFCPF has ordered an additional 3,000 pingers, which will provide a total of 4,800 pingers for distribution to fishermen in March 2013.
To help defray the cost of this technology upgrade, the New Hampshire Coastal Economic Development Corporation, the Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire, and the Northeast Cooperative Research Program's GEARNET will join the GFCPF to provide grant funding to help gillnetters obtain the LED technology at a minimal cost. This is a substantial undertaking, and GFCPF welcomes additional financial partners.
For more information visit www.northeastseafoodcoalition.org