01 Jan Discarded Indonesian Fishing Nets Arrive in Slovenia to be Recycled into Carpets

It is estimated that a total of 640,000 tons of discarded fishing gear are left in the ocean each year, according to a study released in 2018 by the World Animal Protection.

These discarded fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen could create a huge problem to marine life. Fishing nets could float around in the ocean for years and entangle marine animal or break down into microplastics which could be eaten by fish. It is also estimated that 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is composed of discarded nets.

To address this problem, our recently-concluded SeaNet project collaborated with fishers in Kamahedoga Village in Merauke, Papua Province, the Zoological Society of London, and materials recycling company Aquafil, to implement recycling program for discarded fishing net based on the Net-Works model. The model is also being used to recycle ghost nets in the Philippines into reusable products.






We worked with a fishers group, named Nokennagol or ‘for all of us’ in local language, who were responsible for collecting and cleaning 10 tons of discarded nets over a period of 10 months. The fishers received a direct benefit in the form of cash when they cleaned the net from organic and non-organic material and delivered the nets to the collection point. CTC’s SeaNet project staff then organized the baling and shipping of the nets domestically from Merauke to Surabaya and then internationally to Aquafil’s processing plant in Slovenia.

The nets were shipped from Indonesia in November 2018 and arrived at Aquafil’s facility in Adjovscina, Slovenia, in January 2019 where they are now being processed into reusable materials under its EcoNyl brand regenerated nylon. Once processed the nets are then turned into useful products, such as carpets and apparel, contributing to a circular economy and reducing threats to our marine environment.

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