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Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition

ure Organization, fishermen lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of the loss of juvenile fish and non-target fish to bycatch. This team developed a system of angled metal grids and net meshes that catches and sorts mature shrimp and finfish while allowing juvenile shrimp and fish to swim away unharmed. Sorting mature shrimp and finfish between the lower and upper parts of the net helps to reduce the time the trawler crew spends sorting on deck. This enhances profitability: it allows more time for productive fishing and also prevents shrimp from being crushed under the weight of fish and bycatch hauled up on deck, making the shrimp more valuable at market.

"Reducing wasteful practices like bycatch is essential to the health of our oceans and a win-win proposition for fishermen, fish stocks and our marine ecosystems," said Malcolm McNeill, a judge for the International Smart Gear Competition and vessel manager of global fishing company Sealord Group Ltd. "Fishing responsibly and reducing bycatch is a top priority for Sealord so we're eager to test some of these Smart Gear ideas in our operations."

The International Smart Gear Competition was created by World Wildlife Fund in May 2004 to bring together partners representing fishermen, fisheries, policy and science to find solutions that will reduce the unnecessary decline of vulnerable species due to bycatch. Applicants from 16 countries applied their ingenuity and expertise to solving this global problem. WWF and its partners will assist the winners with making their ideas commercially viable.


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Source:World Wildlife Fund


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