Spanish technology company Satlink has launched Project ReCon, a pioneering circular economy programme designed to give a second life to Devices for Sustainable Fishing (DSF), and specifically to echo sounder buoys, used in the tropical purse seine tuna fishery. Some of these sounder buoys used by tuna fleets drift away from fishing areas at the end of their useful life, making their recovery impossible for the fishing companies.
To prevent these from beaching and becoming technological waste, Satlink is leading a worldwide collaborative network of fishing companies and local partners to collect these devices and refurbish them for new uses, giving them a second life for scientific and environmental purposes.
In addition to transmitting position data, these buoys have an integrated echo sounder that reports the amount of biomass present under the buoy.
This makes them suitable for re-use in small-scale scientific studies, marking and monitoring of marine debris, or prevention of natural disasters, among other projects proposed by NGOs and local communities that are part of Project ReCon, all with uses angled to science, sustainability and for benefit of local communities.
This ambitious ReCon project is taking off after months of work and has the support of a number of fleets (including the OPAGAC vessels), which are keen to increase the sustainability of their fishing activities in benefit of local communities.
The initial steps of Project ReCon are being taken in Australia, where Satlink’s team has been working with Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an Australian NGO and founder of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, which, with the support of the Australian community and government, is carrying out crucial work in cleaning up its coasts and removing and preventing marine debris.
Working together, both organisations aim to re-purpose the collected ReCon buoys for protecting the Great Barrier Reef, setting the stage for additional re-purposing projects and collaborations both within Australia and beyond.