Keepnet makers offered ‘groundbreaking’ technology
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Groundbreaking new technology that is said to dramatically cut the transfer of fish disease is being made available to all manufacturers of keepnets, slings, mats and other products that can come into contact with infected species.
The brainchild of avid angler, Derek Willan, BSafe™ – short for ‘bacteria safe’ – is a unique infection-killing ingredient that can be woven into the raw material used in the production of nets.
Willan was convinced that the answer to reducing fish disease lay in producing nets with anti-bacterial properties and a marriage was born between the UK’s leading supplier of plastic-additive technology, Silvergate Plastics, and Biomaster, an award-winning market leader in the making of agents that kill bacteria.
The result of their work has led to the birth of Aquatech Technologies – the owner of the BSafe brand. “This was really exciting because it is now feasible to engineer the technology into the monofilament used to make the yarn from which fishing nets and other aquaculture equipment are created,” added Willan. “What is more, the technology continually works at the material surface for the life of the product and is effective when wet – exactly the conditions which are thought to make the transfer of disease possible.”
It has been tested by the UK government’s executive agency CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) against five key bacteria.
Jason Weeks, now a Professor of Environmental Risk Analysis at a leading UK university, worked on the project for CEFAS. He said: “The results were stunning and very exciting for everyone involved with a kill rate of the five key pathogens within 24 hours of more than 99% – and proof that the BSafe technology was at work when wet or dry.”
Leading UK fisheries consultant, Dr Bruno Broughton, commented: “This welcome move will lead to better, fish-safe nets and other products that will raise the bar for fish health standards.”
The introduction has also been greeted by the Angling Trust (AT), the single organisation that represents anglers and angling in England. Its Chairman, Mark Lloyd, said: “AT takes fish health and welfare very seriously and any product that can help protect fish from bacterial infection is very welcome.
“If the manufacturer’s claims are correct, then these nets could make a big contribution to stopping the spread of disease and helping protect the sport that we all love.”
Aquatech Technologies Director Andrew Jackson-Brown added: ”From our initial idea we have always intended to make the exciting benefits of BSafe available to all manufacturers of any products that come into contact with infected fish.
“We see the launch of BSafe as a huge step forward in reducing the spread of harmful bacterial diseases and hope that all anglers and manufacturers alike join with us to help preserve and promote healthier fish stocks.”