Evaluation of Glow in the Dark Crab Traps

Lay Summary 

Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) is an economically important fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and an increased profitability of the fishery could be attained by minimizing, or even eliminating, the need for bait in traps. A previous project by the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR) revealed that low-powered LED lights may be an effective alternative to bait in snow crab traps, as crabs are attracted to the light. Since this experiment, ESL Marine Supplies Ltd. (based in St John’s, NL) have developed a similar invention that uses the natural attraction of crabs to light to attempt to eliminate the use of baits in pots: UV-charged “Euroglow Netting” manufactured by Euronete in Portugal. In the summer of 2017, CSAR completed the preliminary testing of this netting by investigating how long the trap netting glows for under differing lengths of time charged by UV lights, as well as natural sunlight. Compared to LED lights, the glow-in-the-dark trap may be a cheaper and simpler option for fishermen. Results from the 2017 preliminary experiment revealed that the source of UV (UV light or sunlight) did not seem to effect the intensity and glowing time of the trap. The maximum glow durations of the trap were 9.7-12.2 hours. In 2018, the 2017 experiment will be repeated to again quantify the glow duration of the traps, and sea trials will take place in the nearshore and offshore snow crab fishery of the Connaigre Peninsula to compare the performance of the glow-in-the-dark traps to traditional traps.

Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources
Harbour Breton
Newfoundland and Labrador
Fishery Technology
Ocean Sciences
Fishing Industry
Crab Fishery
Industry Sectors 
Fishing, Hunting and Trapping
Start date 
1 Jan 2017
End date 
1 Jan 2019
Lead Organization 
Fisheries and Marine Institute