Optical and acoustic camera observations of the behavior of the Kuril harbor seal Phoca vitulina stejnegeri after invading a salmon setnet

It has previously been confirmed that Kuril harbor seals Phoca vitulina stejnegeri cause damage to the chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta setnet fishery along the east coast of Hokkaido, Japan, but the level of damage has increased markedly with the recovery of their population in recent years. In this study, we attached an optical camera (Trawl Camera) and a dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) acoustic camera to a setnet to observe the behavior of seals as they invaded the setnet, and to determine the number of salmon inside the net, to help inform the development of modified fishing gear. Salmon were observed at all times during daytime with the Trawl Camera, while seals were only observed once. Observations using the DIDSON in its low-frequency mode confirmed that the behavior of seals became vigorous from around sunset to nighttime within the recording time (1530–2100 hours). Observations using the DIDSON high-frequency mode showed that the overall lengths and body widths of seals ranged from 1.0 to 1.6 m and 0.15 to 0.35 m, respectively, while their swimming speeds ranged from 0.4 to 2.6 m/s, increasing around sunset and declining into the night. These results imply that seals mainly invade the setnet from evening to nighttime to predate on salmon.

Glossaire technique

Art d'attribuer le nom scientifique correct à un spécimen.
Un acronyme dérivé de l'expression 'sound navigation and ranging' . la...