Three organisations in Seychelles have signed an agreement to recycle and reuse fishing nets and gears discarded and abandoned by the tuna fishing industry.
Seychellois company Brikole, OPAGAC – the Spanish Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers – and Orthongel – the French organisation of frozen and deep-frozen tuna producers – signed an agreement of cooperation on May 19 that will allow Brikole to obtain the abandoned fishing gear and ship them to vetted recycling facilities outside of Seychelles.
The cooperation agreement is the culmination of a project that the Seychelles Department of Blue Economy in collaboration with OPAGAC embarked on last year to explore the potential use and value of abandoned and discarded industrial fishing nets and gear.
At the launching of the project, a consultant at the Departments of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Phillipe Michaud, said that "this is essentially a project through which we want to use fishing nets and other fishing equipment that vessels use in the industry, as a means to get maximum benefits from these items."
Brikole is a company established to provide a sustainable and long-term solution for exhausted fishing gear generated by the industrial tuna fishing industry. It is a newly established circular business that came about as an outcome of the ReNeT Project which is being project managed by Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S), a non-governmental organisation promoting green living and conservation. Brikole's three founding partners are Francesca Adrienne, Rosetta Alcindor and Kyle de Bouter.
It added that "all parties involved want to limit the impact of fishing on the environment and so want to address the issue of end-of-life fishing nets in Seychelles through sustainable business operations."In a press statement, Brikole told SNA that "this would be the first phase whereby the net repair yard would be cleared, followed by a second phase with the construction of a local recycling facility. Here the nets will be processed maximising the economic value from previously unwanted material."
The tuna fishing industry currently produces fishing nets and other gears such as buoys, floats and ropes that need to be transformed through a waste management system using sustainable and circular processes and business models.
Before the signing, all parties involved, including the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), worked together for months to find a solution for the discarded fishing nets and gears.
At the signing ceremony held at Maison Colette, Dr Julio Morón, Managing Director of OPAGAC, said "this a ground-breaking project to which OPAGAC companies are proud to contribute by the donation of the exhausted fishing nets for effective recycling, generating value-added in Seychelles. This confirms the compromise of the tuna industry with sustainable practices and compromise with local economic development."
Brikole said that this new move will add value to the local economy by transforming waste into resources, initiating a new industry in the country".
Xavier Leduc, the President of the Union of French Fishing Shipowners (UAPF), said that "this cooperation with an innovative startup, involved in the circular and blue economy of the Seychelles, fits perfectly into the development objectives and policies of the French and Italian boat owner members of Orthongel."