Smart tuna hook

Smart tuna hook

"My motivation was to create a cost-effective, environmentally safe device that would improve the catch efficiency of target species by decreasing the impact on and reducing the catch of sea birds and turtles in the Tuna long-line fishing."

Hans Jusseit is the inventor of the Smart Tuna Hook, a shield designed for pelagic longline gear. He has owned and operated tuna longline vessels throughout Australian waters.

Concept

Baited hooks are covered with a small shield, held in place by an alloy pin. The shield prevents seabirds getting to the hook while setting gear - then within about 10 minutes of being set, seawater corrodes the alloy pin. The shield then falls off at depths deeper than seabirds usually dive, exposing the baited hook to catch fish.

The Smart Tuna Hook system was created using the following principles:

  • prevent hooking of sea birds and turtles
  • be made of non-polluting materials
  • have industry benefits
  • increase safety
  • maintain or improve operational flexibility
  • provide economic returns & be economically viable
  • be made from inexpensive production materials
  • be space saving
  • be easily applied
  • have conservation, management and MCS applications

Testing & Development

The Smart Tuna Hook has been trialled in tuna fisheries in Australia and found to be operationally effective. Further testing is now underway in other fisheries to demonstrate its effectiveness against seabird species such as white-chinned petrels, shearwaters and albatross.

Oceansmart the company who developed the hook was established to provide smarter, environmentally safe solutions for the global fishing industry and environment.

As part of our Mitigation Mentor Programme, Southern Seabirds Solutions Trust obtained a grant of AUS$20,000 from the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels for this work.