From November 13-14, 2014, Healthy Seas attended and supported the inaugural roundtable meeting of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Organized by World Animal Protection, the roundtable meeting brought together UN agencies, industry leaders and non-governmental organizations to address the growing issue of ghost gear in oceans.
The initiative aims to achieve safer, cleaner oceans by driving sustainable solutions that address the issue at a global scale. The roundtable meeting brought together environmental thought leaders and governmental organizations with the goal to discuss and frame the structure and objectives of the initiative moving forward.
Delegates shared inspiring success stories of beach and ocean clean-up initiatives. We had the opportunity to present our clean up project of last year in the North Sea and our planned activities for the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea, explaining the beautiful Healthy Seas ‘Journey from Waste to Wear’, that recycles and places monetary value on recovered ghost gear used to feed the ECONYL® Regeneration System. People were amazed to see socks and swimwear that were once smelly fishing nets!
The second morning of the meeting offered participants the opportunity to visit the ECONYL® plant where they could see how recovered ghost gear contributes to a circular economy. Aquafil offered delegates a glimpse into the manufacturing world to see how corporations can utilize recovered ghost gear to reintroduce to the market as new products. By providing a successful example of producing new products from ghost gear, the initiative is optimistic there will be greater participation from corporations to help create a more circular economy.
As we stated during the event, preventing ghost gear is a win/win for fisheries, animals and the environment. We believe in safer, healthier oceans.