20 Jun 2013

Introducing the 'Hook Pod'

Ivan Ramirez from BirdLife's Global Seabird Programme demonstrates the Hook Pod to a captivated World Congress audience (Photo: J. Lawrence)
By Adrian Long

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.

See video action of how the hook pod works.

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.