Continuing the marine theme for today, I was pleased to see an article in a recent edition of Seafood NZ magazine about a clever invention to prevent seabirds like albatross getting hooked on tuna long-lines. It’s called a Smart Hook. Birds (and turtles) see a baited hook being launched off the back of a boat as an easy meal and Metiria has noted: “In New Zealand waters, up to 10,000 albatross and petrels drown on tuna long lines each year.”
So what is a Smart Hook?
Fisher-turned-inventor Hans Jussiet explains the shield and dissolvable pin that covers baited-hooks as they are launched in this video from an ABC TVshow. Once the shielded hook sinks below the depth of seabirds and turtles, the pin dissolves and the shield is released. Clever.
The shield falls to the seafloor and its untreated metal rusts within a year. I’d be keen to see a bit more environmental impact analysis of raining metal pieces onto the seafloor, but hopefully it’s OK. Are there any marine scientists reading frog?
Innovation and regulation – like hook and shield
I’m impressed by the dedication to reducing the toll that fishing methods like long-lining take on marine animals like albatross, and clever “prevention” approach (rather than just “mitigation”). Innovation complements regulation. Application of clever ideas like this is good for the environment and the economy – ensuring we have a long-term sustainable fishery and markets for our fish.
What say you, dear readers?