The prize-winning entries for the WWF 2011 International Smart Gear Competition were announced at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle on Nov. 17, 2011.
Winning both the Grand Prize ($50,000) and this year's Special Tuna Prize ($7,500) was an entry from the captain of a Japanese tuna vessel. The design called the "Yamazaki Double-Weight Branchline" works by increasing the sinking rate of fishing gear, making it more difficult for seabirds to chase baited hooks. Used in conjunction with other devices it can reduce seabird mortality by almost 90 percent
Runners up, each receiving $10,000, include the "SeaQualizer," designed to reduce fish mortality in the recreational fishing industry, and the "Turtle Lights for Gillnets," aimed at reducing the capture of marine turtles in gillnets. This device reduced turtle interactions by up to 60 percent without affecting target catch rates or catch value.