Heriot-Watt Enterprise

Tech in traditional industries.

An innovative story of a robotic sorting device designed by a leading researcher at Heriot-Watt University’s The Lyell Centre. Called Smartrawl, it releases or retains marine life according to a trawler’s intended catchHot Tin Roof was tasked with spreading the word about the impact this could have on preventing bycatch and reducing waste. 

167+

Coverage hits

3

Broadcast packages secured

Passion for marine conservation

This is an innovative story of a robotic sorting device designed by a leading researcher at Heriot-Watt University’s Lyell Centre which, when applied to a fishing net, releases or retains each marine animal depending on whether it qualifies against a trawler’s intended catch. Hot Tin Roof was tasked with spreading the word about the impact this could have on preventing bycatch and reducing waste. 

More than four million tonnes of fish are unintentionally caught by trawlers around the world every year. That includes sharks, rays, dolphins, critically endangered turtles, and seabirds that are often returned to the water dead or dying. Smartrawl technology has the potential to revolutionise fisheries around the world by supporting them to be more commercially viable and sustainable.

 

Casting the net far and wide

Smartrawl is close to the inventor’s heart. We tapped into his passion for the benefits of his technology and ensured that we told the story in conjunction with a strong news line. Creating a press release that carefully balanced the conservation news with the uniqueness of this never-seen-before technological innovation, we adopted a clear strategy for approaching our target media outlets to ensure we had the attention of top targets before taking the story out far and wide. Our approach included prominent news agency PA, and we netted confirmation of their intention to run the story before casting our net further afield. 

Hot Tin Roof secured excellent pick-up from local and national dailies including the i paper, The Herald, and The Scotsman, along with many other publications. The story has hooked 167 hits and counting including broadcast features on STV and BBC Radio. 

The Smartrawl story was very effectively disseminated by the team at Hot Tin Roof.  We were very happy with the press coverage, and received several requests from TV stations for interviews, some of which were some time after the story went to press; and they keep coming!  This has really put Smartrawl on the UK map!

Paul Fernandez
Inventor of Smartrawl and professor of fisheries science and technology at the Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt University.

Robot revolutionises fishing by identifying what’s in trawlers’ nets

 AI could cast out bycatch for good

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