4 March 2011 - Initiated in 2004, the WWF International Smart Gear Competition now takes place for the 5th time. Fishermen, backyard inventors, students and others have been invited to submit entries for the best new fishing gear to reduce bycatch. The competition will be accepting submissions from 1 March to 31 August 2011 and offers prizes of a total value of $US 57,500.
This biennial initiative aims to find innovative ways to make fishing gear more environmentally friendly by reducing the capture of unwanted marine life, typically termed 'bycatch'. "WWF's goal with the Smart Gear competition is to inspire innovative ideas for environmentally-friendly fishing gear," said Dr. Bill Fox, Vice President of Fisheries for WWF-US. "In addition to fishermen losing millions of dollars each year due to bycatch, many other species, including endangered marine life, are unintentionally and needlessly killed by antiquated fishing gear. "This competition identifies real-world solutions so fishermen can fish 'smarter' - allowing them to maintain a commercially viable business while helping to maintain ocean health."
Bycatch is one of the main threats for the species covered by ASCOBANS, as well as virtually all marine species listed on the Appendices of the Convention on Migratory Species, many of which are also protected under regional agreements, covering cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), marine turtles, seabirds, seals, sirenians (dugongs and manatees) and sharks.
More information on the 5th WWF International Smart Gear Competition can be found here.
Last updated on 25 March 2014