22nd December 2014: COLTO Member, Mustad, win 2014 WWF Smart Gear Competition

One of COLTO’s Associate Members, Mustad Autoline, have taken out the 2014 Smart Gear Competition.

Developed in close cooperation with SaveWave and Mustad Autoline under Eurostars regulations, the SeaBird Saver is the answer to seabird bycatch longline fisheries.  The device emits a highly effective laser beam from the stern of the fishing vessel to keep birds away from the danger zone.  Birds are afraid of these moving beam and react in the same manner as for instance with an approaching car.  In this ecological sustainable way, the SeaBird Saver helps to prevent injury or death of sea birds and increases the catch rates of fishermen.

The judges are enthusiastic about the devices’ effectiveness and ease in operations. They have awarded the product for it’s great potential to reduce seabird bycatch in tuna fisheries.  SaveWave’s marine biologist Ernst Schrijver has travelled to Melbourne, Australia, to attend the Simplot “Acts of Green Event” to receive the prize and inform the people employed at Simplot about the workings and applications of the SeaBird Saver.

The SeaBird Saver is already in operation in Norway, Iceland, The Netherlands, Australia, Russia and Alaska with outstanding results in reducing seabird by-catch and improving the yield of fishermen.  This makes the SeaBird Saver a Win-Win solution to both conservation ánd fishing efforts.

Although seabird bycatch in toothfish fisheries is at near-zero levels due to the implementation of weighted longlines, tori lines while shooting gear and brickle curtains while hauling gear, COLTO Members are keen to trial this new device to further strengthen their seabird mitigation techniques on board their vessels.

More information on the SeaBird Saver can be found on the Mustad website.