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Partnerships develop new opportunities for using Hookpods

Posted on: 3rd May 2017Volunteers demonstrate the pod to Sir David Attenborough. Picture courtesy of RSPB.

Working closely with organisations such as BirdLife (BLI),
RSPB and the fishing industry has always been a major part of getting the
Hookpod out into worldwide fisheries and a recent collaborative project with
the Albatross Task Force (ATF) of BLI is no exception. Last year 1200 Hookpods
were purchased for distribution in the Brazilian fishery and these are now
ready to go within the fishing fleet in Brazil.

 

ATF researchers are using these Hookpods in conjunction with
new experimental ‘ProGlow’ fishing lights, designed and manufactured by our
sister company Fishtek Ltd, by the same design brains behind the Hookpod
itself!

This means that not only does this vessel prevent seabird
bycatch; it also prevents any marine waste from the discard of chemical
lightsticks – a double environmental gain.

 

Over the next few months we will be waiting to hear how
these devices work together, checking that catch rates are unaffected, and gear
does not get tangled with lights and pods being used together. By using an
external light rather than the built in LED within the original Hookpod, it
allows flexibility for fishermen to use the light or not; which can depend on
the target catch, presence of sharks and in some cases, the time of year. It
could therefore increase the range of fisheries that the Hookpod can be used in.

 

At a recent ‘Earth Optimism’ event in Cambridge the pod was
promoted by staff of RSPB as a new innovation to prevent seabird bycatch.
Images and examples of the Hookpod were shown to visitors to the Albatross Task
Force stand. ATF co-ordinator Oli Yates sent the photograph below and said ‘We spoke non-stop of the Hookpod all
day long and presented it to Sir David Attenborough in person! I personally
provided the key team messages to our staff and volunteers before the
event and the Hook pod was very much an important aspect. I was there all
day, and made sure that it was being represented fairly and
accurately. The RSPB is very supportive of the pod and it was a key
attraction for all the people that visited the stand”.