LEDs to cut carbon cost of fishing

A German firm has developed an energy-efficient LED lamp for use by Sri Lankan fishermen.

There are 85,000 canoe fishermen in Sri Lanka, many of whom catch prawns in the mangrove swamps at night. The prawns are attracted by the light of the fishermen's kerosene lamps and trapped in a complex system of baskets. While the prawns are fished sustainably, the kerosene lamps used by the fishermen pose a genuine environmental hazard.

Leaking kerosene can pollute the water and spawning grounds. These lamps produce surprisingly large amounts of carbon dioxide. The country's 85,000 canoe fishermen burn roughly 100,000 litres of kerosene every night or 30 million litres per year, corresponding to 75,000 metric tonnes of  carbon dioxide per year.

The Global Nature Fund is distributing 100 of these LED lamps to the fishermen in a first phase. Virtually all kerosene lamps are to be replaced in the long term. Diana’s development of the lamp was supported by the LED Light for you (LLFY) partners Osram and Infineon Technologies.

“On the one hand, this will not only help to protect the sensitive ecosystem of the mangrove forests from leaking kerosene and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but will also provide the fishermen with innovative technology allowing them to continue their night fishing and thus safeguard their main source of income on the other,” said Michael Wohs, European sales manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. Catches are not expected to suffer, as the light of the amber-coloured OSRAM LEDs of type Golden Dragon is very similar to that of the kerosene lamps.

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