Illegal fishing is a big problem in the Ocean. It’s a problem because the ships can be hard to find and marine conservations may not know a lot of distribution information of the fish being illegally caught. Fishers tend to know where the best fish aggregation sites are. Illegal fishers do to and they won’t tell anyone where these sites are. Tools are necessary to find these sites where illegal fishing can occur.
A team of scientists may have inadvertently found a way to detect where these sites may be by using telemetry tags. A long-term study that involved tagging sharks in the Chagos Sea Marine Sanctuary may have stumbled upon illegal fishing within the protected area.
The telemetry tags track individual sharks within a certain area and will identify the places the sharks like to go within the protected area. The tags will stop working once they are taken out of the water and log the last location it was in the water. As a tagged shark is illegally caught, the researchers will know exactly where it was caught.
Unfortunately, enforcement authorities cannot catch the illegal fishers in real time; however, they can study the trends and identify hot spots for illegal fishing. The hot spots can turn into a focus for enforcement or better management implementation.
Do you think telemetry tags are a good tool to fight illegal fishing? Share your thoughts in our Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group: http://wwwspeakupforblue.com/group.
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