Tuna purse seiner organisations OPAGAC and ORTHONGEL have launched a joint net recycling project with Brikole Ltd, a new local start-up managed by the NGO Sustainability for Seychelles.
The Department of Blue Economy in the Seychelles has been collaborating with the tuna industry for some time to promote the recycling of end-of-life fishing nets used by the purse seine fleet.
As part of the effort, OPAGAC has since 2019 funded an evaluation project in consultation with the local stakeholders to find feasible solutions. The Brikole start-up is the joint culmination of this extensive study.
Sustainability for Seychelles stresses that ‘all parties involved want to limit the impact of fishing on the environment and so they want to address the issue of end-of-life fishing nets in Seychelles through sustainable business operations.’
In a statement, a spokesperson for Brikole said that there will be an initial phase in which existing net yard is cleared of old gear and equipment, and followed by a second phase with ‘the construction of a local recycling facility where the nets will be processed, maximising the economic value from previously unwanted material.’
This is also expected to generate a number of jobs in the Seychelles.
‘This is a groundbreaking project to which OPAGAC companies are proud to contribute by donating end-of-life fishing nets for effective recycling, generating added value in Seychelles,’ said Dr Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC, which represents Spanish tuna vessel operators.
‘This project confirms the commitment of the tuna industry to sustainable practices and with local economic development.’
ORTHONGEL, representing French and Italian tuna purse seiners, has also joined this initiative.
‘This co-operation with an innovative startup involved in the circular and blue economy of Seychelles will not only prevent the waste of old fishing nets but also guarantee that they are recycled,’ commented ORTHONGEL president Xavier Leduc.
Brikole can rely on the donation of end-of-life nets from a total of 29 vessels: eight from Spain, six from the Seychelles, 11 from France, three from Mauritius and one from Italy. This will enable Brikole to start operations shortly and to make progress in the development of the recycling process.
The project is also open to other purse seine operators to dispose of end-of-life fishing gear.