Winner of the 2011 International Smart Gear Competition - Yamazaki Double-Weight Branchline.
This device is designed to reduce seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries when used in combination with tori lines and in some cases night setting. The double-weight configuration is designed to 1) sink pelagic longline hooks beyond the range of seabird attacks within the aerial extent of a tori line during line setting, and 2) reduce injuries to crew should a hook come free while under tension in the landing process and recoil back at the vessel.
The Yamazaki double-weight configuration consists of two leads placed at either end of a 1 to 1.5 m section of wire or wire trace. This weighted section is inserted into a branchline 2 meters above the hook. The weight nearest the hook is free to slide along the branchline while the second lead is fixed. The double weight reduces the danger of weight recoil injury by: 1) spreading the mass of the weights (two smaller weights are better than one) across the wire trace, 2) including a sliding weight that dampens the speed at which the weight can recoil; including a 1 to 1.5 meter section of stretch resistant line (wire) which serves to also reduce recoil energy; and positioning the larger of the two weights in or near the hands of a crewman as the fish is under maximum tension as it approaches the sea door.