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Excellent Hookpod trial results unveiled in New Zealand

Posted on: 11th September 2017


The Seabird Working Group of ACAP meeting in Wellington, 4-6th September 2017. Photo; ACAP FB page.

Last week the Seabird Working Group of the Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) met in Wellington, New Zealand. This
is the 8th meeting of the SBWG and attendees came from across the
globe to discuss albatross conservation.

 

It was a busy meeting, with over 20 documents and 31
information papers to take on board. Two of these information papers related to
ongoing trials of the Hookpod, in both Brazil and New Zealand.

 

The results of both these trials have been outstanding. The
New Zealand paper contains data from both a longer term 10-month commercial
trail and a short trial in the intensive Bluefin fishery. Catch comparisons on
both indicate that there is no impact on target catch species from using
Hookpods. Hookpods are more consistent at achieving protection from hooks to a
given depth compared to line weighting, where sink rates are variable, and tori
lines, where wind can badly affect deployment.

 

The durability of Hookpods has also been fantastic. Loss
rates are well below the expected 1%, and seabird bycatch rates on the long
term commercial trial vessel were considerably lower on lines with Hookpods in
place. A summary of the New Zealand paper is available on the ACAP website here.

 

In Brazil, results from an ongoing trial in the commercial surface
longline fleet also look promising. The crew are finding them easy to use and
store and the pods were readily accepted. Target catch rate is again
unaffected, a vital element for commercial use of the Hookpod.

 

More of these results will be available when they have been
fully analysed and after a larger data set has been collected.  In the meantime, work in Brazil shows the
Hookpod performing well, with a high level of acceptance and researchers there
are encouraging other fleets to adopt and monitor hook-shielding devices such
as the Hookpod. The report on Brazil’s findings is here.

 

We will keep you updated as and when further results are
reported.