Sanford Ltd joint venture research project wins the Sustainability & Clean-tech award at the 2014 New Zealand Innovators Awards

Precision Seafood Harvesting (a Sanford joint venture research project in conjunction with Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford, Sealord and the Ministry of Primary Industries) was last night named New Zealand’s  Supreme Innovator and won the Sustainability & Clean-tech award at the 2014 New Zealand Innovators Awards.  The win is a testament to the collaboration, innovation and commitment to sustainability shown by all the PSH partners, science teams, researchers and crew who are literally changing the way the world fishes with this technology.

Precision Seafood Harvesting (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. 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 in-shore fishing vessels.

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.

Still images, full interviews and all on-board and underwater footage of Precision Seafood Harvesting are available at:

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