According to a joint report by the FAO and UNEP, an estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear are left in the oceans each year, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. These nets, sometimes called “ghost” fishing nets, can often be found on and around shipwrecks. These nets remain in the marine ecosystem for hundreds of years. Many marine animals are captured and killed in the nets, and this has a negative effect on marine ecosystems.
Are waste fishing nets the biggest waste problem for seas and oceans?dimos2020-02-14T09:36:32+01:00
Waste fishing nets are part of the massive amount of litter in seas and oceans. Plastic marine debris – also called ‘plastic soup’ – is now found in every ocean on the planet. Plastic marine debris comes from fishing gear, offshore platforms and ships. However, around 80 % comes from land – litter that is washed into rivers and out to seas and oceans. The illegal dumping of garbage in seas and oceans is also a problem.
Why focus on waste fishing nets?dimos2020-02-14T09:35:04+01:00
Waste fishing nets are often found on shipwrecks which form breeding places for sea life, especially in areas where there is intensive human activity, such as fisheries. The localized nature of nets creates ecological problems for ecosystems and species but allows focused recovery actions. The killing of marine animals by waste fishing nets illustrates to the wider public very well the problem caused by marine litter.
There are several important initiatives to clean up and safeguard the seas. The Healthy Seas initiative is special for various reasons: it is a joint venture of non-governmental organisations and businesses to clean the oceans and seas. The nets that are collected by the Healthy Seas initiative are not dumped into landfills or burned in waste processing facilities. Instead, they are recycled in order to create high-quality products. Sustainability is the focus, from both the environmental and economic point of view. Healthy Seas brings many stakeholders and initiatives together: divers, fishermen, shipping companies, NGOs, governments as well as recycling and production companies, creating new products such as socks, swimwear and carpets and more.
What do you do with the recovered fishing nets?dimos2020-02-04T08:43:52+01:00
Nofir is responsible for the transport, sorting and cleaning of the nets we collect. The nylon parts are sent to Aquafil’s factory in Slovenia to enter into the ECONYL® regeneration system while other types of plastic nets are given to others for recycling, for example Bracenet, a company that uses other type of fishing nets (polyethylene, polypropylene). The rest of the materials could be reused (by fishermen or for displays, exhibitions, school programs) or are becoming waste-to-energy (through incineration).
How is the recycling done?dimos2020-02-14T08:52:56+01:00