Also known more generally as a Bird Exclusion Device, a brickle curtain forms a physical barrier around the area where the fishing gear is either deployed from or recovered onto, longline vessels. Similar to bird-scaring lines, this physical and visual deterrent reduces seabirds from becoming entangled or injured by baited hooks during the setting or hauling of fishing gear on longline vessels.
The device (a literal “curtain” of floats, see image below) is suspended above the area where the longlines are deployed and/or recovered, from a rail running between two horizontally deployed booms. Since seabirds are visual foragers, they are highly responsive to the brightly coloured floats, reducing seabird interaction with the fishing gear.
Brickle curtains are mandatory for all auto-longline fisheries in Australia, including the Antarctic longline fleet. Anecdotally successful, the device needs further study and refinement before widespread use. Efficacy in the UK is currently unknown.
This page was last updated on 12.02.21.
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