WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Alaskan Ace Callaway, inventor of the BlackTip Catch & Release Recompression Tool, won the Green Product of the Year award from West Marine.
Designed to reduce the effects of barotrauma on deep-water fish, the BlackTip Catch & Release Recompression Tool simply clamps firmly, but safely, onto the fish's jaw and is lowered by hand, downrigger or rod and reel. A weight, supplied by the angler, pulls the fish down until the device hits bottom and automatically releases. Testing revealed that a 5-pound weight works on fish up to 20 pounds. The BlackTip Catch & Release Recompression Tool has been safely tested with weights up to 30 pounds for larger fish.
His invention is a simple, effective, and low-cost way to reduce fish mortality rates, according to the contest judges.
The judges made their selection based on effectiveness, cost-competitiveness, environmental impact, degree of innovation, verification of claims and compliance with official rules.
"The BlackTip Catch & Release Recompression Tool addresses a real problem, in a way that is simple, effective and affordable," said Dr. Randy Kochevar, a marine biologist at Stanford University. "Using this innovative tool, any fisherman can make sure that a fish returned to the wild has the best possible chance of survival."
This annual competition is open to manufacturers, distributors and/or inventors of boating products throughout the U.S. In addition to the honor, Callaway will also receive $10,000.
"I have always wanted to leave this world a better place than I found it, and I feel this release will save thousands of fish," said Callaway. "Hopefully this device will be my legacy that will help to preserve what I have come to enjoy and love so much – fishing."
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