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SafetyNet lands 2012 James Dyson Award for design

 The Safety Net, an invention that could make a positive impact in the marine ecosystem, was named the winner of the 2012 James Dyson Award for design.

Royal College of Art graduate Dan Watson invented the sustainable SafetyNet with the purpose of saving smaller non-target fishes inadvertently netted by commercial fishing boats.

Watson’s Safety Net features a series of escape holes to a net, allowing small fishes to pass through the holes easily. Powered by a battery or a built-in turbine, the LED escape rings on the Safety Net lights up and stimulates escape reaction of fishes.

“Every year, around 27 million tons of fish are thrown back dead because they are too young or the wrong species,” Watson said of SafetyNet in a video. “Last year, British fisherman discarded two of every three fish caught, with many of the discarded species also being the most threatened. This practice is unsustainable and has to change.”

The SafetyNet’s escape holes is also considered a conventional net design, enabling commercial saving boats to easily pull their nets with less pressure and fuel consumption. Moreover, the invention’s system automatically raises the trawl a meter off the sea floor, thus preventing coral reefs and other marine life from being destroyed.

Watson pocketed $15,983 for his invention while his Alma-mater will receive the same amount in form of a grant for their research department.

Other nominees for the James Dyson Award are an affordable prosthetic socket and self-inflating life jacket.

Dubbed as the Beth project, it is specially designed to be adjustable, robust, affordable, and pain-free prosthetic sockets for amputees.

Meanwhile, the self-inflating life jacket activates when it is triggered by changes in bodily signs such as cerebral hypoxia during drowning. It used a Footfalls and Heartbeats smart fabric technology which monitors respiration, triggering it to inflate and bring the diver to surface when he or she blacked out

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