Aquaculture for all

Net light project lands sustainability award

Sustainability +1 more

A collaborative project that focuses on reducing the amount of juvenile fish caught by trawlers has won the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources category at the Foodservice Footprint Awards.

The awards represent the annual celebration of the work that organisations in the foodservice industry do for the benefit of their community and the industry. The awards are a celebration of initiative and innovation, of commercial imagination and endeavor.

Young’s Foodservice won the award for 'Project Trawlight', in which lights are attached to the escape panels on trawls, to guide smaller fish out of the net. Early trials have proved very promising and suggest a reduction in bycatch of up to 40 percent. From an energy perspective, the lights only charge when they are in water, which means that there is no waste in energy, as the lights turn off when they were not in use and come back on automatically when deployed.

David Parker, Marine Biologist and Head of CSR at Young’s Foodservice is delighted with the recognition, saying: “Young’s Foodservice aim to be at the forefront of innovation and leading the industry towards a greater focus on the sustainable use of our natural resources. Whether that is influencing major retailers, trade bodies and national governments both in the UK and globally, or engaging directly with our suppliers to build partnerships with everyone in the supply chain, right down to those that initially make the catch, Young’s is inspiring people to love fish now, and for generations to come.”

Charles Miers, CEO of Footprint Media Group, believes that it is innovations such as Project Trawlight, which provide shining examples of great industry practice.

“This type of innovative technology can assist vessel operators to avoid catches of unwanted fish in the context of the landing obligation. This gives both an environmental and economic advantage in that the smaller fish are freed for future generations, whilst for fishers, they can maximise their catch quota and reduce the amount of low value fish landed for the non-human consumption market,” he explained.