Cairns & Far North Queensland Local News

State Government backs clever anchor

Peter 2

The Palaszczuk Government is backing a Cairns startup’s ingenious boat anchor invention to launch into global markets and help save the Great Barrier Reef.

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said Cairns-based startup Catch ‘n’ Release had developed an anchor that was both safe for users and had environmental benefits.

The startup last year received $91,000 funding from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund to commercialise their anchor retrieval system.

“The Ignite Ideas Fund supports startups and small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to commercialise market-ready ideas that will help them grow and compete in the global marketplace,” Ms Enoch said.

“This startup has some big plans to launch their cutting-edge anchor into global markets including New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“There is high demand from our innovative small-and-medium enterprises for practical support from the Palaszczuk Government, and we are working with them to set the scene for the future of innovation today.”

Launched in 2012, Catch ‘n’ Release is an anchor retrieval device that reduces impact to people, boats and the environment by changing how the anchor is pulled up.

Catch ‘n’ Release Director Margaret Powell said the anchor device “reduces ocean-floor damage, takes only seconds to use and allows for a safer boating experience.”

“One night when we were out on a boat, the anchor got stuck. As we tried to retrieve it, a wave hit the front of boat and almost threw me into the water and broke the front of the boat,” Ms Powell said.

“We then went home and started talking to people and realised there were lots of people who’d had the same experience.

“Every time anchors are retrieved, they pull through whatever you’ve anchored to, causing damage. Whether you accidentally get onto a reef, seagrass bed, mud or rocks, it’s all disturbing the environment and the marine-life down there.

“The device is the first of its kind and changes the retrieval point of the anchor, ensuring that it dislodges by coming out the way it went in. The release mechanism changes the direction of pull from the top of the anchor to the bottom of the anchor.

“The (Ignite Ideas) funding enabled us to take our product across Australia and market it to the right people. We couldn’t have kept going without this.

“I’m excited to watch Queensland grow as the destination for innovators with big ideas. The innovation climate is so much more accepting these days and there’s much more out there in Queensland to help people with a great idea,” Ms Powell said.

Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government's $420 million whole-of-government initiative, which supports the development of new or improved products, processes or services to secure investment, launch into global markets and grow business.

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