SBIR Phase I:Advanced Hook Material for Commercial Fisheries
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
146 Notch Road, Oak Ridge, NJ, 07438
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 project addresses unintended shark catch in commercial fisheries by creating an advanced fishing hook material that is repellent to sharks and not repellent to market-valuable fish. In the commercial longline fishing industry, it is not uncommon to capture more sharks than target fish. Unintended shark catch, or "bycatch", results because a baited hook is equally attractive to both fish and sharks. If unwanted sharks can be selectively repelled, the target fish catch can be maximized, allowing the industry to remain sustainable, profitable, and eligible for incentives from fishery regulators. To address this selective fishing requirement, the proposed technology combines two known shark repellent technologies directly into a fishing hook: Magnetism and electropositivity. These repellents affect the shark's unique electrical sense and are not detectable by tuna and swordfish, which lack the electrical sense. The proposed technology is transparent to fishermen because it will not require external power and will not change the shape, function, or handling of a standard hook. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are the training of new scientists and increased understanding of shark behavior and shark repellent materials. By identifying compounds with selective shark repellent activity, marine biologists will have an enhanced understanding of the behavioral differences between sharks and fishes. Technological understanding will be advanced identifying surface treatment techniques for metals used in marine environments. These techniques will provide direction for future shark-repellent coatings for marine aquaculture and marine infrastructure.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.