June 23, 2017
Fishing for a Bright Idea? Mare Sanum Net Catches Eye of Invention Convention Judges
Ghost fishing may sound like a chimerical apparition; but in reality, it is a very real and growing externality, causing extreme damage to marine ecosystems around the world. Ghost fishing – or the result of abandoned or lost fishing nets, rods, and other apparatuses “catching” fish by ensnaring them – and bycatching – or the accidental capture of undesired sea creatures while fishing for others – cumulatively result in the deaths of millions of sea creatures each year, despite bringing no benefit to society at large.
When fifth grade Taelyn Baiza, a sea-loving Idaho resident, heard about these disastrous marine catastrophes, she couldn’t help but imagine a better way.
While some of her peers focused on prototyping, Taelyn focused on vision. Rather than deliberating on what she could do with the materials she had, Taelyn imagined what the world could do if it collectively tackled this marine tragedy. Uninhibited by her engineering capabilities, or the technological limitations of society as it exists today, Taelyn imagined a theoretical solution to a very real, very dangerous problem.
Introducing the Mare Sanum (“Healthy Sea”) Fishing Net
Taelyn invented the Mare Sanum (which, in Latin, means “healthy sea”) with distinct functionality to solve two of marine wildlife’s most pressing dangers: bycatching and ghost fishing.
In the case of bycatching, the Mare Sanum uses Sensor Nanobots and Connector Nanobots to analyze animal skin cell DNA, leveraging this information to release undesired sea creatures.
In addition, Mare Sanum uses Sensor Nanobots to sense if the net comes detached from the fishing vessel – this helps prevent ghost fishing. Taelyn explains that the nanobots send compressed air to inflate attached buoys and bring the net to the surface, much like a submarine. These Sensor Nanobots can also activate transmitters, so fishermen know the net’s location should it become detached, and the Connector Nanobots are capable of drawing the net into the center of its attached buoys for efficient drone retrieval.
Watch as Taelyn describes the functionality of the Mare Sanum, and the dangerous phenomena of ghost fishing and bycatching!
(You can also see Taelyn’s pitch on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHpiQK2uYxE&feature=youtu.be)
For her vision, creativity, inventiveness, and compassion for wildlife, the Paul G. Allen Foundation presented Taelyn with the coveted Jules Verne Award, presented each year to the inventor whose invention addresses a very forward-thinking challenge or obstacle, anticipating problems before they have time to arrive, and often using solution components that might not have even been invented yet. For more information on the Paul G. Allen Foundation and its commitment to youth innovation, please visit www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.