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Publication in Animal Conservation - proven mitigation success

Posted on: 27th November 2017The journal Animal Conservation will shortly be publishing a summary of Hookpod trials between 2011-2015 

A paper detailing 4 years of Hookpod trials around the world has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the renowned journal 'Animal Conservation'.

The paper, whose lead author is Hookpod director, seabird bycatch mitigation expert and Pew Conservation Award winner, Dr Ben Sullivan, investigates the findings of Hookpod trials between 2011-2015. Trials were run in Brazil, Australia and South Africa and the paper is co-authored by a number of groups and organisations worldwide who were involved in the development and delivery of these trials. 

The results prove beyond doubt that the Hookpod is a successful bycatch mitigation option for seabirds; with bycatch rates reduced to just 0.04 birds per 1000 hooks, compared to rates of 0.8 birds per 1000 hooks for control treatments. 

In real terms, for a vessel fishing with 1000 hooks on their lines, this is the difference in an average years fishing of 8 birds compared to 160 birds.  Importantly, all the results show that there is no difference in the catch rates of target species when using Hookpods. Throughout all the trials the Hookpod has also been well received by skippers and crew alike.

Within these trials there are also indications that Hookpods may reduce the incidental bycatch of turtles. This is something we will be investigating and studying further, with Hookpods that open at different depths. We hope to commence trials looking at this in 2018.

The paper will be available in print shortly and we would like to thank all of the co-authors who have worked towards publication. The working title of the publication is Sullivan, B.J., Kibel B., Kibel, P., Yates, O., Potts,
J. M., Ingham, B., Domingo, A., Gianuca, D., Jimenez, S., Lebepe, B., Maree,
B.A., Neves, T., Peppes, F., Rasehlomi, T., Silva-Costa, A., Wanless, R., 2016.
Hook Pod: development and at-sea trialling of a ‘one-stop’ mitigation solution
for seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries. Animal Conservation 2017, In Press.