According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), around 13 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year. Of these, around 640.000 come from lost, discarded or abandoned nets and fishing gear. Even though in weight, these are less than 5% of all marine waste, they can be especially harmful to marine ecosystems through “ghost fishing”.
As a company that is strongly linked to the fishing sector, and always committed to the care and protection of the oceans, we in Satlink wanted to do our part to reduce the plastic footprint of the sector. This is why, as part of our Zero Impact Campaign, the project Net100-NetPositiva was founded. For this project, we collaborated with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), of the NGO World Animal Protection, and with Bureo, a Chilean recycling company. Together, we proposed an ambitious goal: to collect and transform 100 tons of harmful waste such as nets, to resources that could directly benefit several artisanal fishing communities along the coast of Chile.
Now, over a year after the start of the project, we are proud to communicate that we achieved the collection and recycling of even more than 100 tons of fishing nets. The project has contributed not only to the care of the ocean, but also to socioeconomic development and job creation in several fishing communities. In fact, the benefits derived from Bureo’s recycling and reselling of the materials have been dedicated to financing social initiatives in over 15 fishing communities, including raising environmental awareness and installing net collection points in two primary schools. Moreover, the project was recognized in the Premios Latinoamerica Verde, where it merited the second place prize in the Oceans category, chosen between more than 230 projects from 19 countries.
From Satlink, we want to thank all those involved for their hard work and cooperation. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to take this step towards the sustainability and preservation of an environment upon which the future of fishermen, and all the inhabitants of our planet, depend. Of course, even though we have finished this first phase of the Zero Impact Campaign, our commitment to sustainability does not end here. We will continue to work towards supporting more projects like this one, doing out part to ensure the protection of the oceans.