Precision Seafood Harvesting Named NZ's Supreme Innovator
Image for publication: Snapper inside the Precision Seafood Harvesting technology. A Hi Res version can be downloaded here
Video: Underwater images of Precision Seafood Harvesting show the future of fishing.
Auckland, New Zealand - The new fishing technology tipped to change the way the world fishes has been named Supreme New Zealand Innovator for 2014.
The Primary Growth Partnership Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) programme won the Supreme Award and the Innovation in Sustainability & Clean-tech award at the 2014 New Zealand Innovators Awards last night. PSH was also a finalist in the Innovation Excellence in Research category.
PSH is a revolutionary fishing technology that does away with traditional trawl nets to allow fish to be landed on boats alive and in perfect condition, while safely releasing undersized fish and by catch.
The design of the harvesting system allows fishing vessels to target specific species and fish size and greatly increases protection for small fish that can swim free through ‘escape portals’ and non-target fish (by-catch), which are released unharmed.
The Innovation in Sustainability & Clean-tech award recognises the ability to effectively design products and processes with sustainability as a driving force.
Precision Seafood Harvesting was named Supreme New Zealand Innovator for 2014. The Supreme Award winner is chosen from all categories and presented to the best overall entry.
The Innovators Awards recognise and celebrate high-growth New Zealand organisations with stories that deserve to be shared – organisations that have excelled at developing innovative products, services and ventures and bringing them to market.
Fishing companies Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford and Sealord are investing $26 million into the project under a Primary Growth Partnership programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries, which is matching the industry investment dollar for dollar. Scientists at Plant & Food Research are helping to develop and trial the technology on commercial fishing vessels.
Greg Johansson from Sanford, a PSH co-investor, says PSH was up against tough competition at the Awards. “The other finalists were all of a high calibre, and we’re really honoured that the PSH technology and the work of everyone involved in this important partnership to commercialise this technology was recognised by the judges.”
Johansson says the new harvesting technology is just the start. “This will lead on to changes in vessel designs and layouts, the way we handle fish and get it to consumers. It will increase the value of all New Zealand seafood products when the global markets see that we’re taking a big step forward by using this new way of harvesting fish.”
“Seafood customers around the world should really enjoy the story of how this fish was caught, particularly the sustainability aspect of catching fish in this way.”
Precision Seafood Harvesting is the result of nearly ten years of New Zealand research and is in its third year of a six-year commercialisation phase under the Primary Growth Partnership, with the technology now being trialed on a range of deep-water and inshore fishing vessels.
PSH took out the People’s Choice Award, and Researcher Entrepreneur Award for Alistair Jerrett at Plant & Food Research, at the KiwiNet Awards earlier this year. ENDS
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