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Scientists discover that scallops love “disco” lights

‘Scallop discos’ have become a fishing breakthrough

  • Becky Buckle
  • 19 May 2022
Scientists discover that scallops love “disco” lights

Scientists and fishermen in the UK have made the accidental discovery that scallops love "disco" lights.

Experts which have called this technique, ‘scallop discos’ have used LED lights in pots to catch the animal.

Scallops have 200 eyes, therefore are particularly receptive to the LED lights and naturally moved towards them.

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The usual way scallops are caught causes harm to marine habitats however this new technique is thought to reduce some of the damage caused to seabeds.

Fisherman Jon Ashworth was asked by Totnes company Fishtek if he would use lights in his pots to see whether they would increase the amount of crabs.

Jon told ITV News: "We put the lights in alternate pots on one string and we shot them away and we waited for the results.

"Bear in mind that in a year I haul 35,000 pots, usually I would probably see no more than five scallops for the year.

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"In that one string after a three to four day lay, we had 15 scallops - all of them in the pots with lights in them."

Dr Rob Enever, Head of Science and Uptake at Fishtek also told ITV News that the results of the study are "once in a lifetime".

"The first time that we hauled the pots and we saw the scallops there, it was one of those times that I couldn't sleep for a couple of nights - it was a pretty exciting moments."

[Via: ITV News]

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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