April 2008
This report describes the result of a port trial to compare the impact of safe leads, weighted swivels and hooks on surface longline snoods cut and released under tension.

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Safe lead impact study (PDF, 634K)


Line weighting the snood (traditionally with lead clips or weighted swivels) increases the sink rate of the baited hook, making it more difficult for seabirds to dive on the bait, and has proven to be an effective seabird mitigation measure. However, under certain circumstances these weights can become a major safety hazard. Many fisherman in New Zealand stopped line weighting after a fatality occurred in 1996 and other serious injuries were reported during the mid to late 1990’s.

The Safe lead is a new device designed and marketed by Fishtek in the UK. This trial tested the safety of Safe leads when compared with weighted swivels which are currently the preferred line weighting device used in New Zealand. Safe leads appear to reduce the risk of serious injury to fisherman in comparison with weighted swivels but this does not mean they are completely safe.

Safety recommendations have been included as part of this report, as advice for fishermen intended to reduce the risk of injuries associated with weighted snoods.

Publication information

Marine Safety Solutions (NZ) Ltd, Client report Safe lead impact: DOC April 2008


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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