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Nature

Freedom for small fish: New fishing net prevents overfishing

November 13th, 2012
in:Nature
org:inhabitat
located in:United Kingdom
tags:Dan Watson, fishing industry, James DYson Award, LED-lights, over-fishing

Royal College of Arts graduate Dan Watson has developed a brilliant sustainable fishing net with luminous exit portals that allow endangered and young fish to escape so that they can fully mature. Watson calls his design the SafetyNet, and the project was recently awarded with £10,000 for taking first place in the 2012 James Dyson Awards.

According to Watson, “The goal of the SafetyNet system is to make commercial fishing more sustainable by significantly decreasing the numbers of non-target and juvenile fish caught during the trawling process.” A series of LED-illuminated portals are woven throughout the SafetyNet to guide small fish out, and an on-board kinetic energy harvesting system ensures that the lights shine brightly without the need for batteries.

Since graduating from the department of Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Arts in London, Watson has gone on to start the company SafteyNet Technologies to commercialize the fishing net. Watson received a £10,000 prize for winning the James Dyson Award, which will go towards the development of further prototypes. The beauty of the award is that the Royal College of Arts’ Innovation Design Engineering department also received £10,000!

Dyson became a household name by inventing a bag-less vacuum cleaner, and his success has made the Dyson Vacuum a household name. The James Dyson Award is organized by the James Dyson Foundation with the simple task to “Design something that solves a problem.” We wish Watson all the best as he continues his journey to protect the future of our oceans and commercial fishing.

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