Each year a hundred thousand tons of fish die as by-catch worldwide. Zero Discards increases the chances of survival of these fish and is also more cost-effective than traditional fishing.
"By-catch" refers to fish inadvertently caught in nets during 'commercial' fishing. Because their market value is not high enough, they are thrown back into sea, often injured or even dead.
Zero Discards optimises the fish catch in an animal-friendly way. To start, the fishing nets are brought in underwater and horizontally. Then the fish are not exposed to the immense pressure of their own weight. A tilting gate with grid structure takes the fish to the first pre-sorting process. Fish smaller than the grid structure can then escape. A "fish-friendly" pump then draws the other fish towards the sorting process. Sorting takes place using cameras that determine if a fish is a preferred catch or undesired by-catch. The by-catch then swims along a natural and ergonomic route back into the sea. Each fish is out of the water for a maximum of one minute. With traditional fishing that can be as long as ten minutes. The Zero Discards system also processes 1,000 fish a minute as opposed to 150 with traditional fishing.