American Seafoods plans to recycle over 100 tonnes of used fishing gear with Net Your Problem this year, in addition to the 106 tonnes already recycled.
Net Your Problem has been actively establishing programmes to dispose of waste in remote fishing communities and currently operates in Alaska, Maine, and Washington, as well as having programmes in development in Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas.
The organisation has recycled more than 450 tonnes of plastic from fishing gears since 2017, turning this into products including phone cases, credit card readers, buckets, kayaks, and office furniture.
Net Your Problem was established by former North Pacific groundfish fisheries observer Nicole Baker, who became involved in seeking ways to dispose responsibly of fishing gear from Unalaska.
When American Seafoods visited the Net Your Problem yard where all the used nets are collected after the fishing season, she commented that ‘the visit really underscores the company’s commitment to learning about and understanding how the Net Your Problem process ensures that their gear is being responsibly disposed of at its end of life, is kept out of the landfill, and provides raw materials for manufacturing in other industries. We are so excited to have them as a repeat customer, planning how to recycle more gear this year from Seattle and Dutch Harbor in addition to the 106 tons they recycled with us in 2019.’
American Seafoods works with Net Your Problem to collect fishing gear from the vessels and send it to recyclers.
‘It’s indeed a source of pride to see how we have evolved and how our nets contribute to being the raw material for someone else – sustainably and efficiently,’ said Frank Vargas, a 48-year industry veteran who started the donations programme with Net Your Problem, and now manages the operations at American Seafoods.
American Seafoods continues to recycle fishing nets, retrieve ghost gear at sea and do its part to keep fisheries sustainable and pristine.
‘This is a responsibility we take very seriously,’ a company spokesman commented