Tide Talk Blog with Hookpod CEO & Marine Biologist
For World Albatross day, we chatted with Becky Ingham, marine biologist and CEO of Hookpod. Hookpod's goal is to see a world without seabird by-catch.
What is your background?
- Becky is a marine biologist by training who worked in the Falkland Islands for Falklands Conservation, studying penguins, albatrosses and other wildlife and flora. She returned to the UK where she worked for the RSPB for 7 years prior to joining Hookpod when the company started in 2013.
How does Hookpod contribute to ocean conservation?
- We develop and manufacture a seabird by-catch mitigation measure, the Hookpod. It works by enclosing the barb of longline hooks as they are set, preventing any seabirds becoming hooked, dragged under and drowned. Once at 20m depth, an automatic opening device is triggered and the Hookpod opens to release the hook and start fishing.
How did you choose this career path?
- I always wanted to work involved with the ocean. It's the last great unknown area on Earth. Later on, and having fallen in love with albatrosses while working in the Southern Oceans, it seemed like an obvious choice to try and help prevent the extinction of these amazing birds.
What is your favorite part of your job?
- Meeting people and knowing that in some small way you can help make a difference. I love seeing the enthusiasm and commitment from people working in all areas of ocean conservation. Getting a small win always feels so good!
What are future goals for Hookpod?
- We want to see the Hookpod widely adopted and recognized by governments and organizations as the best option to reduce seabird deaths in pelagic long-lining. Ultimately we want to see the gradual recovery of all albatross species.
What advice would you give to others?
- Go for it...it's an incredible field to work in with new things coming along all the time. Volunteer to get experience if you need to. But make sure it's something you really believe in because it's not always the easiest choice!
What gives you inspiration?
- Beach walks, rock pools and fresh air off the sea. When I can, laying on a cliff and watching albatross coming in to land...And people. Changing the way things are done is the only way to change the impact we are having on the Earth, so making one small difference to one person can have a big effect.
Who is your environmental hero?
- Sir David Attenborough, Jacques Cousteau and Professor John Croxall, who was the Chairman of Falklands Conservation when I first started and has incredible wisdom about seabirds. Hard to call that one!
To learn more about Hookpod and how they work to save albatross you can visit their website and follow them on social media.
Stay tuned for a special albatross sticker flying your way soon.