Old fishing nets make new carpets

Thousands of miles of discarded fishing net littering the beaches of the Philippines could be removed and turned into carpet tiles, as part a pilot partnership between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and a leading carpet manufacturer.

In developing countries, small-scale fishing often leads to fishers throwing away damaged nets every few months, and they can remain as litter for centuries. These nets not only pollute beaches and villages, but can catch or injure marine life when discarded into the ocean, a process known as ‘ghost fishing’.

Conservationists from ZSL are working with carpet company Interface to pilot a new project called Net-Works on the Danajon Bank in the Philippines.

Every year, the amount of fishing net discarded in Danajon Bank is long enough to circle the world almost one and a half times. And this is just one per cent of the total coral reef area in the Philippines.

Net-Works will not only aim to rid the area of old nets, but will generate benefits for the local communities by turning the nets into environmentally friendly carpet tiles.

ZSL and Interface are currently developing and testing the six month pilot project in Danajon Bank. If successful, the scheme could be replicated in neighbouring areas and other parts of the world.

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