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WWF seeks innovative solutions to bycatch through worldwide competition
Date:1/27/2009

nd a special $7,500 East-African Marine Eco-Regional Prize for entries specifically addressing the serious bycatch issues in coastal East Africa. This is the second year WWF has offered a special regional prize to encourage inventions that address issues in areas of critical concern. Entries will be judged on innovation, practicality, cost-effectiveness, their ability to reduce bycatch of any species and the overall contribution the invention makes to conservation.

Last year's grand prize winners were a team of U.S. inventors from Rhode Island, who designed fishing gear to capture haddock while reducing the accidental netting of other marine species, such as North Atlantic cod. The device works by taking advantage of the haddock's tendency to swim upward when encountering the net, while other fish, which have a tendency to swim downwards, are directed through an escape hatch. The design is now being used in commercial fisheries off the north-eastern coast of the United States and is being tested for use in the United Kingdom and other European fisheries.

"There is a critical need to protect the health of our oceans, now more than ever before," said Michael Osmond, WWF's senior program officer for fisheries. "Bycatch is a serious issue and discovering practical and effective ways to reduce bycatch should be at the forefront of our efforts."

The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and the Lemelson Foundation are supporting this year's competition.


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Contact: Erika Viltz
erika.viltz@wwfus.org
202-778-9542
World Wildlife Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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