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Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan - Pinger Training Information

Under the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan, gillnet gear used in specific areas during specific times are required to be equipped with pingers used in accordance with the specifications below. The operator of a vessel may not fish with, set, or haul back sink gillnets or gillnet gear, or allow such gear to be in closed areas where pingers are required unless the operator has satisfactorily completed the NMFS pinger training program and possesses on board the vessel a valid pinger training authorization issued by NMFS. After completing training, the pinger training authorization does not expire.

Pinger Specifications

    A pinger is an acoustic deterrent device which, when immersed in water, broadcasts a 10 kHz (± 2 kHz) sound at 132 dB (± 4 dB) re 1 micropascal at 1 m, lasting 300 milliseconds (± 15 milliseconds), and repeating every 4 seconds (± 0.2 seconds).

Pinger Attachment

        A pinger must be attached at the end of each string of each gillnet and at the bridle of every net within a string of nets (see figure below). For example, in a gillnet string consisting of 3 net panels, 4 pingers would be required.

Pinger Maintenance

Pingers should be maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications and batteries should be replaced as needed.

Illustration of Pingers Attached to String of Gillnets