A UK company has developed tools to make fishing more sustainable and reduce waste
Spotted: Fish bycatch – when commercial fishers unintentionally catch fish and other marine animals that they cannot use – has a significant negative impact on the marine environment. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, around 38 million tonnes of sea creatures are unintentionally caught each year, representing around 40 per cent of worldwide catches. Most of this bycatch ends up dead.
A UK company – SafetyNet Technologies – has now developed technology aimed at reducing bycatch. The company designs and builds ‘precision fishing’ devices to increase the selectivity of commercial fishing practices, making the industry more sustainable.
The flagship product, called Pisces, is designed to improve the selectivity of fishing gear. It uses coloured LED lights to attract the target species while deterring unwanted bycatch, helping fishing crews to save time sorting fish.
SafetyNet has also developed an affordable underwater camera and sensor that attach to fishing gear and help fishing crews gather data. This allows them to increase efficiency, reduce bycatch, and measure the effects of climate change on fisheries. Together, SafetyNet says these technologies help both fishers and fish.
The company has recently secured £1.8 million (around €2 million) in new funding to accelerate the development of its precision fishing technology.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the percentage of stocks fished at biologically unsustainable levels reached 35.4 per cent in 2019. Luckily, Springwise is also spotting innovations aimed at protecting marine life, ranging from next-generation quiet boat propellers to turning harmful algae into sustainable products.
Written By: Lisa Magloff