Money for old rope is net gain

Money for old rope is net gain

It could be called money for old rope. Enterprising people are being urged to look at ways of turning abandoned fishing nets into useful products.

Recycling is opening opportunities for small businesses and an EU-led project is giving incentives to people along our coasts.

There’s much publicity about the huge amount of plastic entering the world’s oceans, with about 10% of that coming from discarded or lost fishing nets.

The Circular Ocean project is trying to get people and businesses to view these nets as a resource that can be recycled.

Fishing net waste can be made into fabrics and yarn for the production of clothing, plastic pellets for industrial purposes, rope fibres for reinforced concrete, garden furniture, exercise equipment, kayaks and even fashionable bags.

In Ireland, one of the leaders in the field is the award-winning Macroom E, a company started by Cork County Council to help businesses make the most of recycling initiatives.

Macroom E is a partner with the Europe-wide project.

And, in Kinsale, Co Cork, brothers Levente and Attila Magyar are using materials taken from the sea, including sailcloth, to make a range of bags, wallets, belts and other products.

‘Ghost’ nets are a major nuisance in the oceans.

Turtles, dolphins, whales and numerous other fish, as well as seabirds, get entangled in the nets and it is now reckoned that more than 30,000 such nets are lost in European fisheries.

Money for old rope is net gain

An estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear gets discarded in the oceans each year and, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 if the problem continues.

In Norway, for instance, Nofir was established, in 2008, to recover waste marine material which it sends to a recycling facility in Slovenia run by Aquafil, an Italian-owned company.

There, the nets are recycled and, Aquafil reports, one ton of nylon nets can create 26,000 socks.

For interested people, the Western Development Commission will be holding a workshop, at the National University of Ireland Galway, on January 22, bringing together a variety of interests from fisheries, fish farming, port authorities, waste management companies and research institutes.

International experts will speak too.

“There are significant opportunities for SMEs, or individuals, who are looking to get involved in this sector,” said commission chief executive Tomás Ó Síocháin.

Meanwhile, the number of trawlers and other fishing boats now signed up to Ireland’s Clean Oceans Initiative which involves fishermen storing and returning to land marine plastics that come up in their nets daily, is rising.

To date, 168 trawlers and 56 other fishing boats have signed, with 12 ports also registered. There is now 70% participation.

It could be called money for old rope.

Enterprising people are being urged to look at ways of turning abandoned fishing nets into useful products.

Recycling is opening opportunities for small businesses and an EU-led project is giving incentives to people along our coasts.

More on this topic

Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolvingDonal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

Jumping spider sighting in Dublin believed to be first in IrelandJumping spider sighting in Dublin believed to be first in Ireland

Sperm whale dies after becoming stranded in ScotlandSperm whale dies after becoming stranded in Scotland

Grandmother whales help in pod with rearing of youngGrandmother whales help in pod with rearing of young

More in this Section

13 of the biggest fashion moments in Bafta history13 of the biggest fashion moments in Bafta history

Can you ‘biohack’ your period?Can you ‘biohack’ your period?

Blake Lively’s 7 best red carpet momentsBlake Lively’s 7 best red carpet moments

5 of the most romantic plants for Valentine’s Day5 of the most romantic plants for Valentine’s Day


Latest Showbiz

The reality star said that he got into the dispute with a paparazzi photographer.Chris Hughes apologises following ‘altercation’ with photographer outside the NTAs

Saoirse Ronan has been announced as the ambassador for the Irish Film Institute (IFI).IFI name Saoirse Ronan as first ambassador

The programme is moving up north after 15 series.Channel 4 unveils location of new First Dates restaurant

More From The Irish Examiner