La Rochelle, France (7 jours/7)


By-catch: a tragic realily

Bycatch of marine mammals is the largest direct source of their mortality worldwide. In the Bay of Biscay, the situation of dolphin strandings caused by fishing has been particularly critical since 2016, with an estimated total mortality of common dolphins of around 11,500 individuals in winter 2019.

Scientific publication


The DOLPHINFREE project aims to limit the mortality of dolphins caused by the fishing activities of pelagic trawlers and gillnetters. Based on bio-acoustic and cognitive knowledge of the dolphin, it aims to propose, for each of these fisheries, prototypes of acoustic repellents that keep marine mammals away from fishing boats.

How does it work ?

This device is composed of two elements:

1) an acoustic beacon emitting an understandable and interpretable signal to alert them to the presence of the net and the associated risk of mortality

2) an energy generator (recovered from the surrounding environment) to increase the autonomy of the device, which includes a passive listening module (developed by the LICADO project) that identifies the presence of dolphins in order to trigger the emission of the acoustic signal (thus limiting noise pollution in the environment).

The project is led by the University of Montpellier (UM) with the “Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation & Conservation” research centre MARBEC, in partnership with the “Laboratoire d’Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier” LIRMM (UM, CNRS), the UMS PELAGIS (University of La Rochelle, CNRS), the IFREMER of Brest, OCTECH, AGLIA, the OP les Pêcheurs de Bretagne, and with the contribution of the association Conscience Dauphins