SafetyNet wins UK James Dyson Award
SafetyNet, a new device engineered to improve the sustainability of trawler fishing, has won the UK leg of the James Dyson Award.
The net is designed to solve the problem of young, unmarketable fish being caught and thrown dead into the sea, by providing them with an illuminated escape route.
Dan Watson, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, engineered a series of rings which can be retrofitted to a fishing net. These hold the meshes open when the net is under tension during trawling, with a light ring signalling a way out for the undersized fish.
"A key focus in the design of the escape rings is to make them as low maintenance as possible," said Watson. "The rings are illuminated, acting in a similar way to emergency exit signs for the fish, making it very clear where the escape routes are."
Most of the device's components are designed to be stored on standard hauling equipment. Battery and energy harvesting power sources for the lights have been tested and the rings will soon be trialled in conjunction with a UK government body.
SafetyNet will progress to the international stages of the award, with Watson receiving £1000 from the James Dyson Foundation which will be used to refine the energy harvesting escape rings.
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