Northern Pacific Ocean, Southern Atlantic Ocean
Mahi, Swordfish, Tuna
A hook shielding device encases or covers the tip of the baited hook during the longline set to prevent predation by seabirds. The shielding devices is designed to then open or release the hook at a specified depth below which seabirds can dive. The greatest risk to seabirds is during the longline set and haul. When the gear is set, seabirds predate on the baited hooks and can become hooked or entangled in the line after which they are dragged underwater and drown. This has led to many threatened and endangered albatross and petrel species, particularly in upper latitude fisheries. However, most seabirds cannot dive below 20 meters and therefore cannot reach baited hooks beyond that depth. By covering the hook tip while gear is set, seabirds cannot become hooked which greatly decreases bycatch and mortality rates. In addition to covering the hook during the set, products like the Hookpod also come with an LED lighting option that replaces the need to attach light sticks for every deployment which also reduces marine pollution.
Hoodpods are hook-shielding devices. After sinking to a specified depth, the Hookpod is programed to open and release the baited hook. Hookpods are weighted so they sink quicker and can also come with an LED light that replaces the need to purchase new light sticks for every deployment.