Introducing the 'Hook Pod'
By Adrian Long, Thu, 20/06/2013 - 15:37
A new ingenious device - the 'Hook Pod' - has been designed to keep albatrosses from being hooked. The Hook Pod could make a massive contribution to the fight to save albatrosses.
The BirdLife International Partnership's Global Seabird Programme has been working in collaboration with UK-based engineering company Fishtek to develop an innovative mitigation measure for pelagic longline fisheries. The result of this collaboration is the the Hook Pod. This device encloses the barb of the hook until it sinks out of reach of foraging seabirds.
At a pre-determined depth such as 10 metres, a pressure release mechanism opens the pod, releasing the hook. Once retrieved, the pod can be re-used. The Albatross Task Force is currently helping conduct trials of the Hook Pod in South Africa and Brazil. Results so far indicate the Pod has no negative effect on fish catch rates, and the fishermen like using it.