Hookpod – Projeto Albatroz

Short tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) subadults courting, one with fish-hook and monofilament line embedded in throat. Tsubamezaki, Torishima Island, Japan. December.
Short tailed albatross courting, one with fish-hook and monofilament line embedded in throat

This quarter (April – June 2018) we supported Hookpod’s Projeto Albatroz.

Fifteen out of 22 albatross species and 6 out of 7 marine turtles are threatened with extinction. Death on longline fishing hooks represents the most critical threat to their survival. The Hookpod is a new invention which protects these vulnerable species from becoming hooked and drowned on longline fishing hooks. It works by covering the barb of the baited hook during setting, sinking down through the water to a depth of 20m, before a patented pressure release system opens the device and releases the hook to begin fishing.

This project aims to export and free-distribute 6000 Hookpods to the Brazilian longline tuna fleet, operating in the rich waters off the southern coast of Brazil. This is a high seabird and turtle bycatch area. It is estimated that undertaking this project will protect around 1700 albatrosses from a needless death. Hookpod will also work with local charity Projeto Albatroz to provide observer cover on the vessels, ensuring their correct deployment and use. Turtle bycatch will also be monitored, which is anticipated to be reduced by 80-95% by the use of Hookpods, meaning many hundreds of marine turtles could also be saved by this project.

Our donation will cover the purchase and import costs to Brazil of 100 Hookpods. On the basis of standard bycatch rates in Brazil and the effectiveness of the Hookpod in reducing this, proven over four years of trials, we can estimate that this number of Hookpods, over their standard working life of two years, would prevent the accidental bycatch of 22 albatrosses and an estimated 50-100 marine turtles.