Thursday, May 11, 2006

Magnets reduce longline bycatch

Can magnets help save depleted and vulnerable shark populations?

The World Wildlife Fund is betting yes, and supporting the innovative work of Michael Hermann. He has found that putting magnets on longlines targeting swordfish or tuna can reduce wasteful bycatch of sharks. This idea won the $25,000 grand prize in WWF's annual Smart Gear competition.

Shark bycatch is a global problem, and a full 20% of the sharks that have been assessed are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN red list of threatened and endangered fish worldwide.

Selective fishing is good and will improve the long-term sustainability of our use of fish...and maybe I should pay more attention to those claims that magnets will cure what ails me.

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