bait pod

Hook Pod

Disarms baited pelagic longline hooks, releases at a predetermined depth. A re-usable, cost effective approach to reducing sea bird mortality.

About the Hook Pod

The Hook Pod is designed to easily attach to pelagic longline gear and prevents incidental seabird capture by protecting the barb of the hook during setting operations. Once the fishing gear sinks to a predetermined depth (range 10-100m), which is aided by the inclusion of >60g of weight on the hook, the pod opens via a patented mechanical pressure release mechanism, releasing the hook to begin fishing. The pod is then simply retrieved during hauling operations closed and stored in standard setting bins until the next set. The pod is manufactured of strong poly-carbonate with marine grade stainless steel springs to withstand the rigours of 'life at sea', and has been designed to last hundreds of sets or 2-3 years of fishing operations.

Recent trials have included an LED incorporated in the housing of the pod. This LED is designed to replace chemical light sticks (and reduce marine debris) and has been included to provide a 'one stop' mitigation measure to reduce seabird bycatch and provide an economic benefit to fishers with a cheap but reliable and durable battery operated light source. Pods without the LED incorporated will also be available. (see animation) Calculations show that on average using the hook pod with an LED would not only provide a single mitigation measure that is effective at reducing seabird bycatch but would also result in a costs saving of many thousands of dollars for fishers who use either chemical or battery operated light sticks.

The hook pod has been in development for 5 years. It has undergone a number of design changes based on the results and fishermen's feedback and ideas from testing in Australia, Brazil and South Africa and a final prototype is schedued for at-sea testing in the first half of 2013. The Brazil trials in mid 2011, recorded an average 10% increase of target (fish) catch on lines with pods (plus LED) compared to lines without pods and no light stick (control treatment). Further at-sea trials underway in 2012 are expected to confirm this advantage to fishers, which will provide another incentive for fishermen to use hook pods.

See the Hook Pod in action

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For more information contact us

Tel. +44 (0) 1803 866680 
Fax.+44 (0) 1803 849311
Fishtek Marine, 1 Shinners Bridge , Webbers Way Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6JY
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