For its third consecutive year, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will reward the designers of the most effective fishing gear to reduce the incidental catch with cash prizes in the International Smart Gear Competition.
Incidental fishing, also called marine bycatch, is the accidental catch and death of marine species, including aquatic birds and turtles, in fishing nets and longlines.
The WWF competition will award a grand prize of $25,000 and two runner-up awards of $5,000 each to the designs it considers the most practical, cost-effective ways of reducing the bycatch of any species, said the statement.
“World Wildlife Fund is looking for realworld fishing solutions that allow fishermen to fish ‘smarter,’ targeting their intended catch while safeguarding the dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life often caught unintentionally.
This unique collaboration among conservationists, fishermen and scientists is designed to inspire new technologies for more sustainable fishing,” Ginette Hemley, vice-president of species conservation for WWF, said in a statement.
Entries will be accepted until March 15 from fishing gear designers of any background, including fishermen, professional gear manufacturers, engineers and students. For more info, visit www.smartgear.org.