The Hookpod is a reusable hook-shielding device that encloses the point and barb of a longline hook in a polycarbonate case, making it impossible for seabirds to become hooked when closed. Upon reaching a depth of 10-15 m water pressure fires an internal piston which causes the device to open, releasing the hook to begin fishing. The Hookpod has a LED built into the casing, so there is no need to use chemical light sticks, which are often discarded at sea once used.
Hookpod in the closed position protecting the hook
Hookpod in the open position after the hook is released
The Hookpod company now plans to produce 20 000 pods and distribute them in fisheries in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa. Working with the Brazilian NGO Projeto Albatroz it is intended to equip five fishing vessels to use hookpods under commercial conditions in in Brazilian waters (click here).
Use of the hookpod has been assessed by ACAP to meet its performance requirements and is therefore considered to represent best practice in pelagic longline fisheries (click here).
Read more on hookpods here.
ACAP 2017. ACAP Review and Best Practice Advice for Reducing the Impact of Pelagic Longline Fisheries on Seabirds. Reviewed at the Tenth Meeting of the Advisory Committee Wellington, New Zealand 11 – 15 September 2017. 26 pp.
Sullivan, B.J., Kibel, B., Kibel, P., Yates, O., Potts, J.M., Ingham, B., Domingo, A., Gianuca, D., Jiménez, S., Lebepe, B., Maree, B.A., Neves, T., Peppes, F., Rasehlomi, T., Silva-Costa, A. & Wanless, R.M. 2017. At-sea trialling of the Hookpod: a ‘one-stop’ mitigation solution for seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries. Animal Conservation DOI: 10.1111/acv.12388.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 26 March 2018