Spanish firm Satlink is redoubling efforts to combat the ocean plastic crisis by joining a campaign to remove 100 metric tons of discarded Chilean fishing gear.
Fishing gear including nets, lines, pots and traps accounts for an estimated 27pc of all beach litter.
Satellite communications firm Satlink has joined forces with Bureo, a Chilean-American business known for transforming abandoned fishing gear into skateboards and sunglasses, to work on the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).
The project is expected to run until 2019 and is aided by global NGO World Animal Protection (WAP).
While the project aims to rid the Chilean coastline of discarded fishing debris it will see recovered material transformed into higher value products. It will further maintain a monetary fund for the community, by paying for each recovered kilogram of fishing gear.
Bureo also runs the ‘Net+Positiva’ program providing infrastructure and training to fishing communities in Chile, in order to sustainably retrieve and manage fishing gear at the end of its life cycle, which would otherwise end up lost or discarded in the ocean.
Through its Zero Impact campaign, Satlink will fund the strengthening and growth of Bureo’s Net+Positiva program. This will include financing for the recovery of 60,000 kilograms by the communities that are already a part of Bureo’s program.
At the same time, four new fishing communities in the VII and VIII regions will join the program and will remove 40,000kg during 2019.
Ben Kneppers, Bureo co-founder, said: “These funds, destined to local projects, not only help retrieve plastics from the ocean, but also support additional environmental projects in the area. The 100t of removed plastic represent new renewable energy initiatives and recycling infrastructure for participating communities.”
The announcement comes as the European Commission tabled a legal proposal to tackle marine litter. It will now be submitted to the European parliament and council for adoption.