Sam Lewis Quick Cut

  • Tauira / Student
    Sam Lewis
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Yueyun Song, Rodney Adank, Lyn Garrett, Jason Mitchell

Quick Cut is a specialised divers knife for combating ghost fishing. Greenpeace defines ghost fishing as “nets, ropes and other detritus that's either lost or abandoned at sea. It’s one of the largest sources of plastic pollution, and it's the deadliest to marine life.” Quick Cut better prepares divers and fisherfolk to free entangled fish and cut up larger ropes and monofilament so they’re easier to haul to the surface for disposal.

Divers are advised to carry a knife to free themselves in the event of self-entanglement, but a conventional knife isn’t suitable to use around marine life as the sharp ends and exposed blades of a knife are likely to injure the fish being freed. Line cutters are also fiddly and lack the prying ability to get between the marine animal and the net.

Research identified a need for a hybridised cutting tool, and Quick Cut has two distinct functions. When the main blade is retracted, it functions as a line cutter to free marine animals from nets. It features a safe prying edge that guides the net into the blade without injuring the fish. As the net is bunched in the mouth of the tool, the user is able to pry and pull to cut the net and free the animal. When the tool is operated in the line cutter position, the user can utilise an overhand pinch grip for better dexterity and control around a stressed animal. The mouth of the tool also features a flange to keep the divers fingers away from the blade.

When the diver needs to cut larger ropes, the specialised blade slides out like a craft knife and the tool can be operated as a conventional knife, but the blunt tip and spine prevent injury to the diver. This standard knife grip, paired with the curved serrated blade, allows for a high-power shearing force to be exerted on a rope.

Quick Cut is bright yellow to stand out in low visibility and when other colours become faint at depth. Quick Cut is a durable tool, manufactured from injection moulded, recycled Nylon 6 that has been recycled from discarded nets. The blade is manufactured from marine grade stainless steel to withstand the harsh salt water. When Quick Cut is not in use, it can be clipped to a divers D-ring with a bolt snap.

Divers carrying Quick Cut with them on their dives will be much better prepared to save marine life and combat ghost fishing.