May 23, 2016
New net wins technology challenge
A net system which could revolutionise the fishing industry has taken out the inaugural Maori innovation award at the annual Hi-Tech Awards.
Precision Seafood Harvesting is a joint venture by Aotearoa Fisheries, Sealord and Sanford, in partnership with scientists from Plant & Food Research.
The companies’ $26 million investment has been matched by government funding.
They are developing an alternative to traditional trawl nets in the form of a large plastic tube that allows fish to be sorted for size and species even before being brought on deck.
It will mean unwanted fish can be returned to the sea in a healthy state.
The technology is now in a commercialisation phase and the partnership this year launched a premium seafood brand, Tiaki, to label PSH-caught fish.
The industry is currently under scrutiny after an academic report claimed massive under-reporting of catch going back decades, and leaked Ministry for Primary Industries raised questions about whether the ministry was enforcing laws around discarding catch.
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