Students help others catch on to smart hook

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Students help others catch on to smart hook


Emily Ditchburn and Waldemar Schneider

8 February 2012

8 February 2012

The inventor of an environmentally-friendly fish hook, which prevents the killing of seabirds and turtles in long-line tuna fishing operations, has enlisted two University of the Sunshine Coast students to help cast his product world-wide.

USC Journalism student Emily Ditchburn, 21, and International Business Masters student Waldemar Schneider, 25, orchestrated the launch of the Smart Tuna Hook on fundraising website iPledg.

Oceansmart Managing Director Hans Jusseit said Oceansmart needed $25,000 to deploy 100,000 smart tuna hooks for independent testing so it could substantiate its benefits before being distributed globally.

“We have developed the product but now we need to show fisherman, fishing agencies and conservation groups how beneficial on many levels the Smart Tuna Hook is in ensuring sea birds and turtles are safe,” he said.

“Both Emily and Waldemar volunteered to be part of the solution, assist and work within a tight timeframe to script the video for the iPledg website, prepare media releases, official communication documents, and offer strategic marketing advice.

“I’ve saved thousands of dollars in marketing agency fees and am very happy with the professional result.”

Ms Ditchburn said the iPledg project was an excellent opportunity to use the skills she’d acquired during her USC degree.

“We chose to appeal to people’s environmental conscience and market the Smart Tuna Hook as the solution to an environmental problem,” she said.

“From a writing perspective, I was able to use my word crafting skills to formulate media releases and submit an article to the Society of Environmental Journalists.”

As an International Business Masters student, Mr Schneider said he appreciated the opportunity to apply his business skills to a real-life project.

“Opportunities like this are a win-win for both sides,” he said.

“Students are able to work with real-life companies and apply their skills to a real business environment while companies, especially start-up companies, have access to professionals without the associated costs.”

Hans Jusseit is a former long-line tuna fisherman who has seen countless deaths of seabirds and turtles during his career.

His Smart Tuna Hook works by having a temporary shield over the baited hook which prevents seabirds and turtles from being able to bite and ingest the baited hook.

The iPledge page for this project is at:

— Michelle Widdicombe

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