The net solves the problem of young, unmarketable fish being caught in trawler nets and thrown back in the sea, by providing them with an escape route.
The design is built around a series of ‘escape rings’ that can be retrofitted into a fishing net. The rings feature a light, which acts as an ‘emergency exit’ sign, allowing young fish to escape.
Watson, who graduated with a joint MA in innovation design engineering from the RCA, says, ‘A key focus in the design of the escape rings is to make them as low-maintenance as possible.
‘The rings are illuminated, acting in a similar way to emergency exit signs for fish, making it very clear where the escape routes are. In addition to this, water-flow through the wide-open meshes guides the fish to freedom.’
Watson consulted fishermen at every stage of the project development, and says the design is set to be trialled in conjuntion with a UK Government body.
Watson will receive a £1000 prize for winning the UK leg of the James Dyson Award, and will go forward into judging for the international award. The winner of the international James Dyson Award will be announced n 8 November.