Net Works is the result of a collaboration between global carpet tile manufacturer Interface, Inc., the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation Inc., Philippines (PSF). It will tackle the growing environmental problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities. Disused nets will be collected from communities and used fulfil Interface’s goals to produce their carpet tiles from recycled materials. Communities will get the best possible price for the nets and encouragement to clean up coasts and waters, providing an otherwise unavailable opportunity for them to be included in global supply chains.
Why we are there
Fishing nets are made from the same material that is used to make carpet yarn and can persist for centuries. The Danajon Bank, one of only six double-barrier reefs in the world, and discarded nets take a toll on the environment and marine life there. Fishing nets are also one of the most abundant sources of recyclable nylon in the world, however. The estimated length of nets discarded each year in this area, if laid out end to end, is 400 times the length of Danajon Bank, equivalent to 1.5 times the world’s circumference. This project will help ensure that end-of-life nets will no longer be discarded on beaches or in ocean waters, but will become an additional source of revenue for Philippine residents.
Key achievements and goals
Interface, aided by ZSL, aim to establish a supply-chain for discarded fishing nets from artisanal fishing communities in developing countries in such a way that generates environmental and social benefits within these fishing communities. A pilot project has been set up on the Danajon Bank in the central Philippines. If this is successful, the project will be scaled up gradually, with the aim of setting up a self-sustaining system of collecting nets from communities by the end of the second year. To date, 8,850 kg of discarded nets have been collected from Danajon Bank and surrounding areas.
Dr. Nicholas Hill, Ph.D, is the Net-Works project manager
Partners and sponsors
Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation Inc., Philippines (PSF)