The underwater baited hook was the brainchild of New Zealand fisher Dave
Kellian. Australian tuna fisher Tony Forster contributed to the concept and ran trials of a basic model on his fishing vessel.
However, Dave and Tony’s version of the machine was extremely rudimentary because they had neither the engineering skills nor (as working fishermen) the time to perfect it.
Tony sought the assistance of Phil Ashworth, general manager at Amerro Engineering, a company with links to the Australian tuna fishing industry. Ashworth agreed to help advance the concept to the point where production fishing could be conducted without compromise.
Subsequently, Dr. Graham Robertson – principal research scientist (seabird ecology and bycatch) in the Southern Oceans Ecosystem program of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) – became involved when he saw a prototype of the device at Amerro Engineering. That fateful sighting led to the initial round of fundraising for the device and cemented the collaboration between Amerro and the AAD.