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It's official; Hookpods reduce seabird bycatch!

Posted on: 22nd December 2017

<img src="/blog/img/pods.jpg" alt="Pods at sea ready to be set" />

A new Animal
 article summarizing 4 years of study has found that the Hookpod can help prevent birds from being inadvertently
caught by fishermen.


Investigators note that 15 of 22 albatross species are
threatened with extinction, and a major threat to these birds is death through
interactions with pelagic longline fishing. At-sea trials conducted in three
continents demonstrated that Hookpods reduced seabird bycatch effectively, with
bycatch rates of 0.8 seabirds per 1000 hooks on control lines and only 0.04
birds per 1000 hooks on Hookpod lines. “Hookpods have no negative effects on
fishing success,” said lead author Dr. Benedict Sullivan, of the Royal Society
for the Protection of Birds, in the UK.


The Hookpod is an ingenious invention by Devon-based
engineer and company Director Ben Kibel. It works by completely encapsulating the barb of the hook
inside a polycarbonate case. Upon reaching 10-15m depth, beyond the diving
depth of most seabirds, the pressure of the water fires an internal piston
which causes the device to open, releasing the hook to begin fishing. This inherently
reliable pressure release system is unique to the Hookpod and makes it operationally effective and reliable. This innovative design is patented in several countries around the world.


Fishermen using the device in New Zealand and Brazil are pleased
with how it works and have continued using it past the end of trials. Mike Te
Pou, Skipper of the FV Commission, a tuna fishing vessel based in Tauranga says
‘These Hookpods are a great invention and they are working really well for us.
They have taken away the dangers of using lead weights on the lines, and on a
few occasions the Hookpods have actually out-fished our regular gear!”