The winner of the UK James Dyson award is the SafetyNet, a device that promotes sustainable fishing by significantly decreasing the number of non-target and young fish caught during the trawling process. The SafetyNet’s unique design features illuminated escape rings, which let the smaller fish that shouldn’t be caught get out.
Designed by Dan Watson, a recent Innovation Design Engineering graduate from the Royal College of Art, the escape rings prevent the holes in the mesh closing during trawling when the net is under tension. The lights make the rings more visible and also stimulate fish escape reactions. Watson said:
A key focus in the design of the Escape Rings is to make them as low maintenance as possible. 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. In addition to this, water flow through the wide open meshes guides the fish to freedom.
SafetyNet will receive £1000 from the James Dyson Foundation, and progress to the international stages of the award. Watson will use the prize money to refine his working prototype, and the rings will soon be trialled in conjunction with a UK government body. You can watch the video below for more information about the SafetyNet: