LiveScience is reporting that scientists, with the support of the NSF have developed a fishing hook designed to reduce the accidental catch of sharks from commercial fishing. Developers incorporated “magnetic repellent” and “galvanic repellent” into the design of the hooks to “interfere” with sharks’ ampullae of Lorenzini, which are electroreceptors not found in “market-valuable” fish such as tuna.
These new hooks, called SMART (Selective Magnetic and Repellent-Treated Hook) hooks, were shown to reduce shark catch by 18 percent to 68 percent, depending on the species involved and geographic location, when compared to traditional hooks.
On a related note, GIZMODO, re-ran the LiveScience story with the following headline, “New Shark-Repellant Fishing Hook Leaves More Sharks in the Water to Eat People.”
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