Technical Innovation of the Year

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This category is open to equipment manufacturers that have launched a new product in 2016 for an aspect of UK or Irish commercial fishing , demonstrating technical innovation and improving the day-to-day business of fishermen (e.g. fishing gear, technical support, safety equipment).

SHORTLIST

Crystal Sea SS 118

The skippers, owner and crew of the Crystal Sea have been at the forefront of reducing discards in the South West, investing much time, effort and money into trialling net technologies and fishing methods in accordance with the landing obligation and quotas. The extremely mixed fishery in the area has made reducing discards challenging but the Crystal Sea has made great progress, working alongside CEFAS and the MMO, to help improve catch data, in support of sustainable fishing.

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QuikSling

The brainchild of George West, this device snaps a chest sling snugly under the armpits of a remote casualty by jerking a rescue line. By designing the floating frame to be the sinking part of two hoisting slings, George has found a way to deliver a comfortable ‘deckchair’ lift.

This is one of the safest postures for MOB recovery to avoid cardiac problems and is recommended in a new SOLAS regulation which requires ‘ship-specific plans and procedures to be in place for the recovery of persons from the water’, which non- SOLAS fishing vessels may have to equally observe, as guidance. The QuikSling has undergone recent development, is now in commercial production and is being fitted to a lot of boats.

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SafetyNet Technologies

SafetyNet Technologies uses light emitting devices to help fishermen catch the right fish and tackle some of the biggest issues facing the commercial fishing industry. Its products can lower by-catch by 90% and improve fishing revenues by up to 20%. This innovative and affordable product enables fishermen to specify the light output, to better attract the size and species of fish they are licensed to catch. It is easy to fit, recharge and is designed specifically for the fishing environment. It retrofits to any type of fishing gear and a set of 20 lights and a charger (enough for most vessels) will pay off its own purchase within one day of use, by enabling fishermen to comply with new fishing regulations that reward the use of sustainable gears. Working with Young’s Seafood and CEFAS, a measurable and significant reduction in fish by-catch was demonstrated when trawling for Nephrops. Further trials are underway in other fisheries to see where else the technology might be applied.

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