Hookpod-mini: a smaller potential solution to mitigate seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries
Also published as CCSBT-ERS/1905/Info01 and ACAP SBWG10 Inf 03.
Hookpods are an emerging technology designed to reduce seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries. Hookpod-minis were trialled in the New Zealand surface longline fishery in 2016-2017 during short-term experimental (20 longline sets) and longer-term operational (110 longline sets) trials. Two sets of experimental trials were conducted. The first compared snoods fitted with Hookpod-minis with a tori line to unweighted snoods with a tori line. The second compared snoods fitted with Hookpod-minis as a stand-alone mitigation measure to weighted snoods in combination with a tori line. All gear, across both trials, was set at night. Operational trials compared snoods fitted with Hookpod-minis and tori lines to standard mitigation requirements for unweighted gear and tori lines, with all gear set at night. Both sets of trials demonstrated that Hookpod-minis fit easily into fishing operations, do not reduce target species catch rate, and may reduce seabird bycatch to low levels. Our findings suggest that Hookpod-minis as a stand-alone mitigation measure are as effective, or more effective, than current bycatch mitigation measures including the combination of line weighting and tori lines.