One year after the start-up of the regional pilot project jointly promoted by Healthy Seas and DefishGear, the first load of abandoned and discarded fishing nets has been collected at Ancona harbour and sent for transport. The fishing nets will be taken to the Aquafil plant in Slovenia, where they will be regenerated into the high-quality nylon ECONYL. This important achievement is the result of close collaboration with the port authorities and the local fishermen’s cooperative, which has joined the initiative.
The DeFishGear project aims to reduce the amount of disused or abandoned fishing nets and marine debris; it does this with the involvement of fishermen in the Adriatic Sea.
This cooperation, which involved the fishing community of Ancona, divers who recovered the abandoned nets, local institutions, researchers and NGOs, selected the Port of Ancona as the collection point for the fishing nets. The objective of this pilot project was not only to recover nets from the Adriatic Sea, but also, through collaboration with fishermen, to prevent their abandonment. More than 15 tonnes of nets have been recovered. Instead of being deposited in a landfill, they will be transformed into ECONYL® yarn, a high-quality nylon filament, which will be used for the production of clothing and carpet tiles.
The project contributes to reducing marine pollution, as well as to preventing the dumping of this solid waste in landfills. The regeneration process is, in fact, an exemplary model of environmental sustainability, taking waste and turning it into beautiful products.