Avoidance of bycatch of seabirds is an essential part of responsible longline fishing. Scientific advisory committees such as ACAP and regional fisheries management organization such as CCMLAR issue Best Practises Advice that offers guidance and several mandatory requirements for the industry to follow.
During the setting of longlines, seabirds risk being caught if they try to feed on the bait. Scientists studying the problem recommended line weighting as a mitigating measure to ensure that the bait sinks out of reach rapidly.
Fiskevegn answered that challenge by developing a fast-sinking integrated weight (IW) line in collaboration with scientists. The subsequent adoption of IW lines by the fishing fleet that targets Patagonian toothfish has been hailed as a success in bird conservation.
According to Birdlife International (Bycatch Mitigation Factsheet3), the use of IW lines "...has proved to reduce the bycatch rate of white chinned petrels by 90%...".
An overview of Best Practises for seabird bycatch-mitigation, including usage of weighted lines, is provided by ACAP (fact-sheets FS03 and FS08).
The fast-sinking IW lines also give signficant fishing benefits. By sinking four times faster than unweighted lines, they offer much higher precision for targeting given seabed sections than lines that drift off sideways.
IWX-lines also reach fishing depth much faster than unweighted lines. They therefore begin fishing sooner, and reach the seabed with fresh bait that is less washed-out than lines that spend much longer sinking through the water column.