Hans Jusseit, a tuna fisherman, has designed a shield to protect the bait on fish hooks (image above). These are not just any fish hooks. These hooks are for catching large fish, like tuna, using longlines like the one shown in the picture below.
Image: OPRT-Organization for the Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries
One problem with this type of fishing is that hundreds of thousands of seabirds and endangered sea turtles, along with other “bycatch” like sharks and porpoises, get caught on the hooks and die while trying to get to the bait. According to a recent article, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration both believe that fishing may be the leading cause of sea turtle mortality as the animals try to eat the bait.
Like this albatross, an endangered species:
Photo: Guy Marcovaldi, Projeto Tamar Brazil, Marine Photobank
The shield created by Hans snaps over the hooks to protect the bait from being eaten as the hooks sink in the water.
There is of course plenty of controversy about whether fishing for some of the top predators in the ocean is a good thing as it allows the prey to multiply.
What are your thoughts on longline fishing and the invention of these new shields? Are they enough?