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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Australian start-up out to save turtles and seabirds

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Oceansmart graphic shows how the shield on its hook releases at a depth below the feeding range of turtles and seabirds.
Oceansmart graphic shows how the shield on its hook releases at a depth below the feeding range of turtles and seabirds.

Over 300,000 turtles and seabirds are hooked and die unnecessarily every year, a direct result of trying to eat long-line tuna fishing baits, but that may be about to become a thing of the past.

And it is all down to an Australian invention that is now attracting a lot of attention as it undergoes rigorous scientific testing in international waters.

Sunshine Coast Company Ahi Enterprises, trading as Oceansmart, has been working towards an effective solution to reduce this toll.

Ahi CEO Hans Jusseit says the solution has comes from within the industry itself. By working closely with the long-line fishing industry the team at Ahi has developed and patented the Smart Tuna Hook, winner on ABC New Inventors.

The Smart Tuna Hook renders the long-line bait inaccessible to seabird or turtle species.

‘The aim is to conserve the species that are not being targeted and to increase the efficiency for the fishing operators,’ said Mr Hans Jusseit.

‘Because the industry has quotas on some species like Southern Bluefin Tuna, the Smart Tuna Hook enables the targeted fish to be caught more efficiently, making the entire industry more viable as well as more environmentally friendly.’

‘Independent trials have shown the Smart Tuna Hook reduces seabird by-catch by 80 per cent with no detrimental effect on fishing operations.’

See more www.oceansmart.com.au

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  1. Very few seabirds are caught on Longlines in Australia in the absence of this new device. Australian tuna fishermen have solved the problem with tori lines and fast sink rates. The figure in the article might be correct globally.


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