Device may save seabirds from the dangers of fishing gear

IMAGE: This is the Brazil hand cast Gianuca Projeto Albatroz.

Image credit: 
Brazil hand cast Gianuca Projeto Albatroz

A new Animal Conservation article summarizing 4 years of study found that a device called 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 had no negative effects on fishing success," said lead author Dr. Benedict Sullivan, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, in the UK.

Credit: 
Wiley