Behavioural responses of krill and cod to artificial light in laboratory experiments

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Most fishes and crustaceans respond to light, and artificial light sources may therefore be an efficient stimulus to manipulate behaviours in aquatic animals. It has been hypothesised that the catch efficiency of pots could be increased if prey, for example krill, can be attracted into the pots providing a visual stimulus and a source of live bait. To find which light characteristics are most attractive to krill, we tested the effects of light intensity and wavelength composition on Northern krill's (Meganyctiphanes norvegica) behavioural response to an artificial light source. The most attractive individual wavelength was 530 nm (green light), while broadband (425-750 nm) white light was an equally attractive light source. The intensity of the emitted light did not appear to have a direct effect on attraction to the light source, however it did significantly increase swimming activity among the observed krill. The most promising light stimuli for krill were tested to determine whether they would have a repulsive or attractive effect on cod (Gadus morhua); These light stimuli appeared to have a slightly repulsive, but non-significant, effect on cod. However, we suggest that a swarm of krill attracted to an artificial light source may produce a more effective visual stimulus to foraging cod.




Utne-Palm, A. C., Breen, M., Løkkeborg, S., & Humborstad, O. B. (2018). Behavioural responses of krill and cod to artificial light in laboratory experiments. PLoS ONE, 13(1).

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