AN invention to combat the ever-growing issue of ocean pollution has won an award at a major engineering competition.

The ‘Sanitary Shark’ is the sea-cleansing brainchild of Felsted Prep schoolgirls Freya Perry, Grace Boroughs, Ava Readman and Anna White.

The cleverly designed contraption, which floats on water and is powered by solar panels and a motor, collects plastic waste products from the ocean using a net.

It even features a loud buzzer to warn away fish to prevent them getting caught.

The girls’ invention won the National Talent 2030 Engineering competition, which aims to encourage more women into pursuing careers in manufacturing and engineering.

School science teacher Christina Bury said: “These pupils have really challenged themselves through these thought-provoking projects. Their passion, energy and enthusiasm to make a difference is inspiring.”