Blue economy department explores business opportunities in discarded fishing nets, gears |31 July 2021
The different opportunities to turn damaged, abandoned, and discarded industrial fishing nets and gears into valuable raw materials to be used by creative Seychellois circular economy entrepreneurs as well as explore ways to better manage and minimise damage of these nets and gears and assess their impact on the environment were discussed and explored at length during a four-day meeting earlier this month.
The department of the blue economy in collaboration with the Producers' Association of Large Tuna Freezers (Opagac), organised the visit here of an innovation manager, Borja Mendes from Sinerxia to initiate a scoping study to know the exact situation of discarded and abandoned fishing nets.
Sinerxia is an international consulting firm specialised in fisheries sustainability and innovation, hired by Opagac to support them in their mission.
During the time he was here Mr Mendes held a preliminary round of stakeholders’ meeting to explore the potential use and value of abandoned and discarded industrial fishing nets and gears. The estimated flow of fishing nets, existing infrastructure and logistics, current uses of the nets were also discussed.
Among the concerned stakeholders that Mr Mendes held talks withincluded net assemblers and repairers, shipping agents and handlers, representatives of the Seychelles Ports Authority, fishing authorities, representatives of ministries and departments dealing with industry and entrepreneurship, waste management, youth and local government, and different non-governmental organisations. Mr Mendes also visited the net storage and repair yard at Ile du Port and held brainstorming sessions with key waste management entities together with industry and entrepreneurship government departments.
As a result, from the meetings, potential business opportunities for reusing and recycling the nets have been identified, which could lead to creating green jobs and the development of new industries.
Also, many ideas were brought forward as to how to improve the processes and develop an integrated system to manage the nets discarded by the fishing industry.
Mr Mendes’ visit marks the start of a new era of cooperation between the department of the blue economy and Opagac which is expected to continue supporting the development of circular economy solutions for the fishing nets in the future with the engagement of all the local stakeholders.
The accompanying photos show Mr Mendes in meetings and visits with stakeholders in Seychelles.